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Resource Manual Part Two
 

Resource Manual Part Two

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Part 2 of 2 for the Environment Tobago Training Manual for Primary School Teachers

Part 2 of 2 for the Environment Tobago Training Manual for Primary School Teachers

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    Resource Manual Part Two Resource Manual Part Two Document Transcript

    • MANGROVES AND CORAL REEFS Their Biology, Ecology, Threats And Opportunities For Conservation Note from a presentation given to Primary School teachers as part of the Environment Tobago, BPtt Leader Award Project, November 7th 2002 Dr Owen Day Buccoo Reef Trust CONTENT 1. Mangroves 2. Coral Reefs 3. Buccoo Reef 4. Threats to the marine Environment 5. Research and conservation 36
    • MANGROVE TREES Mangroves are complex forest ecosystems. In Tobago they are dominated by Red mangrove trees, and further inland by Black mangrove and White mangrove. { SHAPE * MERGEFORMAT } Red mangrove in Bon Accord Lagoon Mangrove trees have air-breathing roots All mangrove trees are able to survive in salt water and in soil which is poor in oxygen (anaerobic). Mangrove trees have developed aerial or air-breathing roots, which have on their surface, special tiny pores to take in air called lenticels. Only air can get through the lenticels, not water or salts. Mangrove roots also contain large air spaces that transport air and provide a reservoir of air during high tide. Roots for absorbing nutrients are tiny and emerge near the muddy surface. Aerial roots can take on different forms. Black mangrove and White mangrove have short pencil-like roots called pneumatophores. Red mangrove send out prop roots from their trunk and branches which arch down to the ground for extra support and air absorption. 37 { SHAPE * MERGEFORMAT } Mangrove trees have air-breathing roots Mangroves are buffer zones between land and sea Mangroves are a natural water filter. Underwater, a huge number of filter-feeders are fastened on the tangle of roots: barnacles, sponges, shellfish. These filter feeders clean the water of nutrients and silt. As a result, clear water washes out into the sea, allowing the coral reef ecosystem to flourish. Mangroves stabilize the coast and river banks. Their roots prevent mud and sand from being washed away with the tide and storms. Mangrove trees also slowly regenerate the soil by penetrating and aerating it (other creatures such as crabs and mud lobsters also help). As the mud builds up and soil conditions improve, other plants can take root.
    • 38 { SHAPE * MERGEFORMAT } The mangrove belt surrounding Bob Accord Lagoon is a natural filter for land run-off { SHAPE * MERGEFORMAT } When drains are cut through the mangrove, the filter is broken and pollutants can damage the reef. 39 { EMBED PowerPoint.Slide.8 } Mangroves are important nurseries for fish and shellfish – see fish in Food While on the tree, leaves are eaten by all kinds of creatures. Fallen leaves are an important source of nutrients both within the mangrove habitat and when it is flushed out to the coral reefs. The leaves are rapidly broken up by crabs and other small creatures, and further broken down by bacteria into useful minerals. Refuge The roots provide a surface for all kinds of creatures from algae, sponges, oysters and small lobsters. The tangle of roots provides hiding places for young fishes and shrimps from larger predators. Their branches provide shelter for large creatures like Monkeys (in Trinidad not Tobago), nesting sites for herons and pelicans, and crevices for insects.
    • 40
    • CORAL REEFS Coral reefs are dominated by animals of the phylum Cnidaria. These include, true hard corals, soft corals and fire corals Hard Corals Species commonly found in Tobago are: Staghorn coral, Elkhorn coral, Finger coral, Boulder coral, Massive starlet coral, Common brain coral, Depressed brain coral, Large grooved brain coral, Rose coral { SHAPE * MERGEFORMAT } { SHAPE * MERGEFORMAT } Staghorn coral Elkhorn coral { SHAPE * MERGEFORMAT } { SHAPE * MERGEFORMAT } Boulder coral – plate form Boulder coral – boulder form { SHAPE * MERGEFORMAT } { SHAPE * MERGEFORMAT } Brain coral Rose coral 41 Soft corals Species commonly found in Tobago are: Sea fans, Sea feathers, Sea rods, Black coral (used in jewelry), Bottle-brush corals, Sausage coral, Sea whips { SHAPE * MERGEFORMAT } { SHAPE * MERGEFORMAT } Sea feathers Sea rods Fire coral Fire coral is very common around Tobago but is not a true coral. It is a hydroid, which produces a painful burning sensation on contact with the skin - beware when swimming over reefs! { SHAPE * MERGEFORMAT } Fire coral (not a true coral) Coral biology – Main Points A coral is a colony of small animals called a polyps. The mouth of the polyp is surrounded by tentacles, which are used to capture plankton. These tentacles are equipped with stinging cells called nematocysts. 42 Polyps of many soft and hard corals contain living microscopic plant cells, called zooxanthellae. These plant cells are responsible for the green and brown colors characteristic of the living coral.
    • Hard reef building coral are called hermatypic coral. They secrete calcium cups called corallites. { SHAPE * MERGEFORMAT } Polyp anatomy (from Richard Laydoo) { SHAPE * MERGEFORMAT } Polyps from Boulder coral in close-up 43 Coral biology – Symbiosis In healthy corals, the zooxanthellae produce sugars for the polyp by photosynthesis. In exchange, waste products produced by the polyps are available to the zooxanthellae as raw materials. This arrangement allows corals to grow in clear tropical waters where food and nutrients are scarce. In fact, plankton often only contributes less than 10% of the energy required by hard corals, the other 90% comes form sunlight! This mutually beneficial relationship is one of many examples of symbiosis found on coral reefs. When the polyp is stressed the zooxanthellae disappear and the coral becomes white—this is coral bleaching
    • 44
    • BUCCOO REEF The growth of a coral reef is a very slow process. Buccoo Reef is estimated to represent over 10,000 years of coral growth!!!. Some species of coral may grow as little as 1 cm in one year. All Tobago's reefs are fringing reefs, growing outwards from the coast. Buccoo Reef is comprised of several zones: The lagoon, which is closest to shore, is followed by the back reef and the reef flat, also known as the rubble zone. Beyond the reef flat is the reef crest, which is the shallowest part of the reef structure and may be exposed at low tide. A breaker zone is also often clearly visible on the reef crest. Seaward of the reef crest the fore reef slopes down to the sea floor Buccoo Reef is the largest coral reef in Tobago and was designated a marine park in 1973. Its massive proportions contain a reef system of five reef flats that are separated by deep channels. An associated lagoon, the Bon Accord Lagoon is almost completely enclosed by Sheerbird's Point – also called No Man’s Land - and a dense mangrove belt. The gradual change in the fauna and flora from the dense mangrove to the outer reef is a biologist’s delight. This reef complex is also more accessible to the non-diver, as snorkeling and glass-bottom boats offer an easy way to observe the many habitats and species it contains. The reef flats have wave- resistant species adapted to turbulent waters, such as Elkhorn Coral, while the reef crests are dominated by the Star Coral. In the deeper Coral Gardens the coral communities change to large colonies of brain coral, Starlet Coral and Star Coral, with many soft corals that sway in the current. Tragically, the Buccoo Reef is today a shadow of what it once was. A combination of pollution from land run-off and physical damage from reef walking and anchors has degraded much of this once majestic reef. If you chose to visit Buccoo Reef on a glass-bottom boat, please do not accept any plastic shoes you may be offered by the tour operator. Instead, ask to be taken to deeper parts of the reef, such as Coral Gardens, where you can snorkel and see much more marine life without touching or damaging any live coral. There is hope to restore this magnificent reef and a concerted effort from the community, visitors, business and government can make it happen. 45 { SHAPE * MERGEFORMAT } Buccoo Reef and part of it’s associated watershed
    • 46
    • THREATS TO THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT What are the main marine environmental issues in the Caribbean? The following are considered the priority areas of concern for environmental managers. • Destruction of coral reefs 22% of Caribbean corals have already been destroyed 33% considered at high risk • Loss of wetlands and mangroves continues due to coastal development • Increased pollution of coastal waters – mostly related to poorly treated sewage, agricultural run-off, and industrial waste water • Over-fishing. Conch, lobster and groupers are particularly vulnerable to over-fisihng and usually to first species to become scarce in onshore waters. Over fish stocks, including the large pelagic fish like tuna, dolphin and kingfish, are also at potentially at risk. • Climate change. Climate change is already happening and weather patters are changing. Sea temperatures and sea level are expected to rise and will add additional stress to coastal ecosystems. The recommendation to coastal zone managers and communities is to make these ecosystems more resilient to change by reducing the other stressors on which we can act, such as pollution, over-fishing, sedimentation, etc… 47
    • RESEARCH AND CONSERVATION Despite the challenges, there are opportunities for promoting the survival of coral reefs and coastal ecosystems and every individual can play a part in this process. These include: Pollution – How to reduce it? Litter and waste How to reduce? Reduce, reuse and recycle Chemicals (Fertilisers, herbicides, household chemicals, oil and petrol) How to reduce? Farm organically, use non-phosphate cleaners, prevent spills from cars, boats and yachts. Sewage How to reduce? Install proper sewage treatment plants and drainage systems Mud, silt and sand How to reduce? Prevent deforestation, build silt traps near developments and new roads, avoid building in rainy season Environmental Monitoring Environmental monitoring by government agencies, universities and NGOs is designed to provide relevant information to policy makers through: • Coastal water quality monitoring • Coral reef health monitoring • Inventory of biodiversity • Building capacity for Remote Sensing and GIS For examples, the Buccoo Reef Trust is undertaking the following research on coral reefs: • Integrated Water Quality and Reef Health Monitoring • Remote sensing/GIS Mapping Project of Buccoo Reef Marine Park • Analysis of coral cores Habitat Enhancement Habitats can be enhanced in order to optimize their ecological and economic value. This can include the following: - Restoring damaged reefs using artificial structures - Improving management of Marine Protected Areas 48
    • Community Education/Awareness Community education programmes are designed to promote community and training opportunities through: - School programmes - Media Campaigns (TV, newspapers, radio) The Buccoo Reef Trust together with Environment Tobago are two NGOs that are actively involved in community education and awareness programmes. Their activities have included: • A televised film: “Buccoo Reef – To Rescue and Restore” • Articles in international and local press • Workshops and presentations to communities and stakeholders • Reef Rangers training week • Primary School Environmental Education Programme 49 { EMBED CDraw }
    • Wetlands Information Packet August 2000 Introduction 2 What are wetlands 2 Wetlands of Tobago 2 Wetlands definitions 3 Types of wetland systems 3 Values of wetlands 4 How important are wetlands? 4 How much does a wetland cost? 7 Who pays the costs? 8 Tobago wetlands disappearing! 8 What is threatening Tobago's wetlands? 8 Managing Tobago's wetlands 13 What is the Government doing? 13 What is the way ahead for wetland conservation? 14 What actions can YOU do to help conserve wetlands? 15 International cooperation for wetland conservation: The Ramsar Convention in T&T 16 What is the Ramsar Convention? 16 Why do countries join the Ramsar Convention? 17 What do countries commit to when they join the Ramsar Convention? 17 Trinidad and Tobago and the Ramsar Convention 17 Upcoming plans under Ramsar that will affect T&T 18 References 19 50 Introduction What are wetlands?
    • Wetlands, as the name suggests, are wet! Essentially, they are transitional environments where dry land meets water and are therefore covered with water all the time or part of the time. As such, wetlands are usually found alongside rivers, lakes, and in coastal areas. Wetlands themselves contain water of different depths, from water several metres deep to water merely saturating the soil. Even when a wetland appears dry, waterlogged conditions often occur below the surface of the soil. The conditions in a wetland also vary over time, with changes daily, seasonally and over long time periods as wetlands evolve and fill with sediment to eventually become dry land. Wetlands of Tobago Wetlands are found on both the windward and leeward coasts of Tobago. The largest wetland, the Bon Accord Lagoon / Buccoo Bay Wetland, lies on the leeward coast and covers approximately 77 hectares. The wetlands on the leeward coast range from mangrove swamps, to freshwater marshes, annual floodplains, to freshwater ponds. The other seven wetlands are located at Friendship Estate, Kilgwyn, Buccoo, Courland Bay, Black Rock Pond, Parlatuvier, and Bloody Bay. There are also eight fairly small wetlands along the windward coast, mainly mangrove swamps. These are at Petit Trou (which is the largest at 15 hectares), Little Rockley bay, Big Bacolet Bay / Minister Bay, Fort Granby, Carapuse Bay / Roxborough, Louis D'Or, King's River / Frenchman's Bay, and Lucy Vale. (see map below) { EMBED Word.Picture.8 } Map showing locations of wetlands in Tobago. 51
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    • 53 Wetlands Definitions The National Wetlands Policy of Trinidad and Tobago follows the definition for wetlands in the International Convention on Conservation of Wetlands, or the Ramsar Convention. This broadly defines wetlands as "areas of marsh, fen,
    • peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six metres". It also says that wetlands "may incorporate riparian and coastal zones adjacent to the wetlands, and islands or bodies of marine water deeper than six metres at low tide lying within the wetlands". This broad definition means that the Ramsar Convention covers a wide variety of habitat types, including rivers and lakes, coastal lagoons, mangroves, and even coral reefs. Some interesting facts about wetlands: • Roughly 6% of the Earth's land surface is estimated to be covered with wetlands, equal to 570 million hectares (5.7 million km2). (World Conservation Monitoring Centre). • Tobago has remaining only about 105 ha of wetlands (1.05 km2), or 0.33% of the total land area. Types of wetland systems As transitional environments, wetlands exist under a variety of conditions, which has produced a variety of wetland types. In Tobago wetlands are often called "swamps". However, the types of natural wetlands found in Tobago include mangrove swamps, freshwater swamps, and lagoons. There are five main types of natural wetlands: 1. Marine - coastal and not influenced by river flows (e.g., shorelines and coral reefs). Found in Tobago for example at Buccoo Reef, and Speyside Reef. 2. Estuarine - where rivers meet the sea and the salinity level is intermediate between salt and freshwater (e.g., mangroves, mudflats). Found at Little Rockly Bay, Big Bacolet Bay / Minister Bay, Fort Granby, and Louis D'Or, 3. Riverine - land periodically inundated by river overtopping (e.g., flooded forests and floodplains). Found at King's River, Parlatuvier, and Bloody Bay. 4. Palustrine - where there is more or less permanent water cover (e.g., freshwater marshes). Found at Fort Granby, and Carapuse Bay / Roxborough. 5. Lacustrine - areas of permanent water cover with little flow (e.g., ponds). Found at Black Rock Pond. There are also man-made wetlands such as fish and shrimp ponds, farm ponds, irrigated agricultural land, sewage farms, and canals. 54
    • The red mangrove lagoon at Kilgwyn is an example of an estuarine wetland. Values of wetlands How important are wetlands? A dirty, mucky swamp with no apparent human value is filled in and cleared to make room for new development. Little has been lost as shiny buildings appear in place of the soggy earth. As wetlands continue to be cleared for agricultural, residential, commercial, and industrial developments, this remains a common misconception. Most of the wetland areas of Tobago have already been destroyed, and now less than one percent (1%) of the land area is covered by wetlands. The tragedy of this error is that wetlands naturally have an enormous range of direct and indirect values to Tobagonians. Physical Benefits: ∑Wetlands protect coastal areas from damage of storm surges and high winds and stabilize shorelines by slowing runoff and trapping soil in the fibrous roots of the plants. Destruction of portions of the Kilgwyn wetland has increased the threat of storm damage to the surrounding coastal land. ∑Wetlands are able to retain floodwaters through their sponge-like action. The waters are then slowly released, helping to control floods. Excess water trapped in wetlands slowly percolates through the soil and recharges underground aquifers. 55
    • Benefits to Wildlife: ∑Wetlands serve as nurseries for many species of animals. Many marine fish spawn in wetlands found adjacent to coral reefs for example at the Buccoo Reef / Bon Accord Lagoon wetland complex. Local tourism and fishing industries therefore depend on coastal wetlands. ∑Wetlands support a high biodiversity because of the varied wetland conditions that produce a diversity of habitats for plants and animals. Wetlands also have a complex food chain that supports many different species. Tobagonians directly use some of this biodiversity when they harvest mangrove wood, fish, crabs, oysters, birds, and other wildlife. These must be sustainably harvested if the biodiversity value and the harvest are to be maintained. Mangrove roots offer protection for young fish. Human / Economic Benefits: ∑Wetlands are ecotourism and recreation sites because of their aesthetic appeal based on the high biodiversity they contain. Hiking, kayaking and other non-impact uses of wetlands are very valuable socially and economically to Tobago tourism and recreation industries. ∑Wetlands filter pollutants and sediments and so provide a major environmental and health benefit in cleaning up contaminated water. Wetlands are so effective that artificial wetlands are created to purify wastewater from sewage treatment plants, from storm water runoff, and even from agriculture. Such a plant has been developed in Bon Accord for sewage treatment. In fact, wetlands can reduce some pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria after only two hours of contact with wetland plants. 56
    • 57
    • The Buccoo Marsh actually assists in removing some of the sewage pollution escaping from malfunctioning treatment plants at Buccoo and Bon Accord. Wetlands as natural cleansers? How is this possible? Wetlands reduce contaminants in surface water by acting as settling basins, slowing water flow and allowing suspended particles begin to settle out and be deposited in the bottom of the wetland. Insoluble contaminants such as phosphates, pesticides, and heavy metals attached to the particles also settle out. Additional sediment covers the contaminants, burying them, and removing them from the water so that cleaner water flows from the wetland. Certain plants (such as sedges and waterlilies) can further separate heavy metals from the water. The heavy muck soils of wetlands have high levels of decaying plant organic matter. This organic matter provides many charged particles that attract and hold organic molecules, such as pesticides. Thus, the organic material attracts and binds the dissolved pesticides to the wetland soil, removing the pesticides from the water. Wetland soils also support immense populations of microorganisms, some of which can use pesticides and other organic molecules as food. Wetlands also use up excess nutrients in plant growth (for example nitrates and phosphates found in fertilizers and nutrient-rich soil running into wetlands) which could otherwise cause chemical and biological imbalances in the water. In these ways, wetland plant communities can help purify polluted water and so protect our precious coastal waters and human health. 58
    • How much does a wetland cost? Wetlands offer important free ecological goods and services such as coastal protection, flood control and groundwater recharge, nurseries and habitats for fish and other wildlife, filtration of pollutants and sediments, and storing carbon dioxide (the principle agent in global warming). In some cases these services may be directly measured, for example the value of the fisheries industry based on wetlands, the value of the crab or oyster harvest, or the value of the ecotourism or recreation industry based in wetlands. However in many cases, determining the monetary value of wetlands is more difficult. One way that values can be assigned is by calculating how much it would take to replace the free ecological services wetlands provide. For example, wetlands help to purify contaminated water and protect marine ecosystems and human health, saving the very high costs of installing and maintaining water treatment plants. Coastal protection structures are often expensive and moreover less effective than the protection offered by nature via wetlands. Desalination plants or other costly means of producing or importing water are replaced by groundwater sources that are recharged by wetlands. Environmental economists do these types of value calculations when they calculate the "replacement value" of wetland ecosystems. Mangrove seedlings will eventually grow to trees that offer free coastal protection. Another way values may be assigned is by determining the "option value" or "contingent value". These values are estimated through interviews with people who indicate how much they would be willing to pay to know that wetlands and the free goods and services that they provide are conserved for use by the present and future generations. For example, how much would you be willing to pay to know that your child could see the colourful life on Buccoo Reef, or continue to bathe safely in your local beach water? 59
    • Who pays the costs? Wetlands in Tobago are being seriously threatened by development. This development often only benefits a small sector of the society, which then leaves, without paying the bill for wetland destruction. Who then pays the cost of losing a wetland when it is destroyed? When our natural systems are destroyed society suffers the costs directly and also indirectly when government spending must be allocated towards environmental clean-ups and installing expensive technological solutions to replace previously existing free ecological services. We must question what free ecological services become unavailable to us when we develop without due regard to natural processes. Tobagonians need to take a much more active role in lobbying for conservation and wise use of Tobago wetlands for the benefit of all people. Tobago wetlands disappearing! Tobago has remaining only about 105 hectares of wetlands (1.05 km2), or 0.33% of the total land area. Certainly Tobago was blessed with much more extensive wetlands three hundred and fifty years ago. This was before the widespread conversions for agriculture that took place in the colonial era and the more recent conversions for residential, industrial and commercial development. It is becoming more and more critical that Tobago save what little is left of these precious wetlands, which offer important various free ecological services that we derive invaluable benefits from. At a time when our coastal fisheries are declining, ocean levels are rising, coastal waters are becoming more polluted, and the tourism industry is expanding, Tobago's wetlands desperately need protection in order to continue their important functions. Unfortunately however, our wetlands are facing several very serious threats. What is threatening Tobago's Wetlands? There are now four major wetlands remaining in Tobago at Petit Trou, Kilgwyn, Bon Accord and Buccoo, and ten smaller ones on the windward and leeward coasts. These wetlands are facing rapid degradation and destruction by a variety of factors: 1. Drainage or Conversion for Development Since wetlands are generally found in flat coastal areas, they are viewed as prime sites for development. This is certainly the most serious threat facing wetlands in 60
    • Tobago, both in terms of the large scale of development, as well as the permanence of the destruction that ensues. In colonial times extensive areas of wetlands in the southern portion of Tobago were cleared or drained for development. In fact, most of Lower Scarborough was once wetlands and the remnants of huge coconut and cocoa estates can be seen in Lowlands, Bon Accord, and Roxborough, where wetlands once dominated. Deliberate changes to the hydrology of wetlands have been made with the construction of sluice gates, leaving the delicate ecology of these areas permanently changed. These errors in our past are being repeated today with demands for residential and commercial land, and recent proposals for massive hotel developments. Petit Trou is the largest of the wetlands along the windward coast of Tobago, being approximately 15 hectares. This wetland is threatened by the development of Tobago Plantations Limited (Tobago Hilton). Environment TOBAGO has repeatedly appealed for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), which was conducted and submitted to the Town and Country Planning Division. This was to be released to the public for review, but to date this critical document affecting the lives and future of Tobagonians has been kept secret. Construction of the resort is almost completed, and the impact on the Petit Trou wetlands is unknown. Plans have also been submitted for the construction of a marina, which will certainly also impact wetland hydrology and ecology, but it is unknown what mitigation measures and monitoring procedures are planned to minimize impacts on the wetlands in the area. Bon Accord Lagoon / Buccoo Bay Wetland suffered from "beach improvement" activities at Sheerbird's Point that involved clearing some mangrove. Some wetlands along the southern boundary were also cleared for residential development. Agricultural plantations had long ago shrunken the once extensive area of this important wetland complex, the largest and perhaps most important wetland area in Tobago. Red mangrove surrounding the Bon Accord lagoon is threatened by proposed tourism developments. 61
    • More recently, an international hotel chain has proposed a resort development in the Golden Grove Estate. The EIA was prepared and subjected to review, with serious concerns aired regarding the impact on the ecology and hydrology of the wetland complex. Outline planning permission was granted by the Town and Country Planning Division in April 1997. This resort proposes to comprise a two hundred- room hotel, sixty three-bedroom townhouses, sixty three-bedroom villas, and an 18-hole golf course. The next step will involve submission for final planning permission. The outline permission specifies that no construction is to take place in areas occupied by mangrove, which covers much of the area. Adequate mitigation and monitoring of any development here will again be needed. The Kilgwyn Wetland is today only a fraction of what it used to be after being filled in for the extension of the Crown Point Airport and for the construction of an access road to the fishing depot on the coast. Extensive sand mining in one section has destroyed the freshwater wetlands and also increased the threat of salt-water intrusion to the area. This stress on the area is added to the damage that was brought on in the past by the widespread conversions of land to coconut plantations. Proposed expansion of the Crown Point airport will further fragment and shrink this fairly degraded wetland. Environment TOBAGO has proposed that the development be planned so as to preserve the last intact fragment of mangrove forest and lagoon. The THA is currently considering expansion options. Other smaller wetlands are also under threat by development. This includes the Lucy Vale wetlands in Speyside as the proposed site for a new school, and King's River wetland where a resort has been proposed but no details are known at present. An EIA was prepared for the stadium at Bacolet, which is currently under development, and is likely to impact on the wetland area downstream at Minister Bay. The EIA proposes that the sewage effluent be treated by an on site 62
    • treatment plant until arrangements can be made to send the effluent to the Scarborough treatment plant. It also suggests measures to control soil erosion and consequent silting up of the wetland, which may occur as a result of the altered landscape. 2. Illegal dumping of solid waste Dumping of solid waste from domestic and commercial sources is rampant in both wetland and non-wetland areas in Tobago. A visit to any of the wetlands around Tobago makes this only too apparent. This is especially severe in Kilgwyn, Minister Bay, and Lucy Vale wetlands (dumping of earth fill). It is the responsibility of each individual and community to take responsibility for maintaining a clean and healthy local environment. Illegal dumping in wetlands is widespread. 3. Pollution from domestic sewage, industrial waste, pesticides and fertilizers Malfunctioning commercial sewage treatment plants are destroying wetland ecosystems, for example at Buccoo Bay and Bon Accord, which empty into the Bon Accord Lagoon / Buccoo Bay wetland. Smaller commercial and residential soak-a- ways and outdoor latrines also leak untreated sewage into the environment, for example at the Kilgwyn wetland. Pesticides and fertilizers also run off from nearby agricultural land into wetlands. When this occurs, the influx of nutrients from fertilizers and sewage causes an increased growth of algae in the water, and the increased algal population uses all 63
    • available oxygen, so that other plants and animals are starved of oxygen and die. This phenomenon is called eutrophication. While one important value of wetlands is their ability to filter and break down these harmful pollutants, our wetland systems are becoming over-burdened by the quantity of effluents they are receiving and are themselves being destroyed. Maintenance-intensive golf courses tend to be prime sources of such excess runoff. This problem is therefore threatening Petit Trou as well as other smaller wetlands. 4. Siltation due to runoff from cleared areas Irresponsible developments such as agriculture without adequate soil conservation measures, wholesale clearing of land for construction, burning and bush fires, all result in soil erosion. Eroded soil is gradually washed into wetlands, where it is filtered and settles, protecting marine ecosystems. However, massive quantities of incoming soil eventually result in destruction of the wetland and loss of all its valuable functions. 5. Over-hunting of wildlife, over-fishing, and illegal harvest of mangrove Inhabitants of the mangroves such as crabs, oysters, fish, and birds, are all over hunted while mangrove wood is harvested for construction and the bark stripped to extract tannins. The tannins are used in leather dying and the damaged or stripped tree then becomes vulnerable to attack from pests and eventually dies. Wise use and harvesting of the wetland environment is central to sustainable management and conservation of this resource. 6. Natural threats In 1963 Hurricane Flora destroyed most of the western part of the Bon Accord Lagoon / Buccoo Bay wetland, however, wetlands are generally extremely resilient to storms, which is reflected in part by their ability to stabilize coastlines and protect against flood damage. 64
    • Managing Tobago Wetlands What is the Government Doing? The Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Environment Division, is responsible for the management of wetlands in Tobago. They are engaged in several actions for wetland conservation and wise use in Tobago. These include: 1. Establishment and management of wetland protected areas: The Buccoo Reef Marine Park has been legally declared a restricted area since 1973, but is protected only as far as the high water mark. The Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA) has recommended further extension of the boundaries of the Park to include more of the wetland ecosystem area. A Management Plan for the area has been developed and responsibility for implementation lies with the Fisheries Division of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment. Rockley Bay Wetland (2.3 hectares of predominantly riverine mangrove forest) was recently being considered by the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, as the site for development of a wetland reserve for research, education, and eco-tourism. This plan has been made available to the Department and a draft management proposal, which includes principles of conservation and wise use of the resource is being developed. These will extend to include restoration of the habitat and controlling all projects taking place in the area to ensure their sustainability. The Department hopes that this pilot project can become a model for management of other wetland sites in Tobago. 2. Reviewing Environmental Impact assessments (EIAs) for proposed developments affecting wetlands: EIAs for proposed developments are submitted to the Town and Country Planning Division and subsequently sent to the THA for review. 3. Education: The Environment Department undertakes various education and awareness projects, including public workshops and lectures, production and distribution of educational materials (posters, brochures, and booklets) to schools and the general public, collecting resource materials for its information centre, and conducting field trips. Presently a pilot programme to encourage community involvement in environmental conservation is being run at Plymouth with a group of Environmental Cadets comprising young people from 15-25 years old. 65
    • 4. Collaboration: The Environment Department collaborates closely with other departments in the THA for example, Fisheries, Tourism, and Public Health, and externally with the Environmental Management Authority (EMA), Ministries in Trinidad, and Environment TOBAGO. 5. Representation on the National Wetlands Committee: Through this committee, Tobago is represented in wetland policy formulation and implementation of the Ramsar Convention in T&T (see International Management of Wetlands). One significant activity in this regard is the current initiative to get the Bon Accord Lagoon / Buccoo Bay wetland declared as a Ramsar site on the List of Wetlands of International Importance. This would enable the wetland to receive special management attention and funding support, similar to what has already been done for the Nariva Swamp in Trinidad. A proposal is to be prepared and submitted to the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) for approval and then to the Ramsar Bureau for consideration. What is the Way Ahead for Wetland Conservation? 1. EIAs: The importance of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) to evaluate the potential impacts of proposed developments, identify least impact options, and plan mitigation measures, cannot be under-emphasized. However, the broad guidelines under which EIAs presently operate are in desperate need of review. Some of the most critical problems that continue to arise from this are that: (1) There are no clear standards for environmental protection measures (2) There are no strict guidelines for monitoring implementation of EIA proposals (3) EIAs do not allow for public consultation on proposed developments As new laws come into force with the establishment of the national Environmental Commission, these problems should be somewhat alleviated. The new rules of environmental clearance will make EIAs public documents and stipulate more stringent environmental standards that will require accountability and monitoring systems. Look forward to becoming more involved in assessing local developments! 66
    • 2. Assessing wetland loss: You may have asked exactly how much of our wetlands have been lost already after so many years of degradation? There is a very simple answer to this question: There has been no research in the past or to date that seeks to quantify the size and area of wetland sites in Tobago. Figures that are available are largely estimations that cannot be used to accurately assess factors such as wetland loss or recession. This therefore inhibits many attempts to identify that recent developments have modified wetland areas, as there is no original data to compare present figures to. There is crucial need then for the development of baseline data of all wetlands in Tobago so that future assessments can be more thorough and precise. 3. Role of THA: The Town and Country Planning Division and the THA have critical roles to play in taking the steps to ensure the conservation and wise use of Tobago's wetlands. Also, as legislation enables the citizen to become more involved in local planning, we must utilize these opportunities, to become more aware, and voice our opinions on how development in Tobago should take place. What Action Can YOU Take to Help Conserve Wetlands? ∗Use proper soil conservation measures when clearing land and avoid burning. ∗Minimize your use of fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides and take measures to minimize runoff. ∗Limit your harvest of wildlife, fisheries, or vegetation from wetlands. ∗Take responsibility as individuals and communities to properly dispose of solid waste and maintain a healthy environment. ∗Educate yourself and talk to others about wetland conservation and wise use. ∗Seek out and support local environmental education incentives. ∗Become aware of local developments and their environmental repercussions. ∗Get involved in assessing proposed developments through the public participation process. ∗Let your voice be heard and lobby for wetland policy, legislation, regulations, and strict enforcement. ∗Encourage research into developing documented wetland data. ∗Work with the THA for wetland conservation and wise use on both public and private land. 67
    • International Cooperation for Wetlands Conservation: The Ramsar Convention in T&T What is the Ramsar Convention? Increasingly governments from around the world are recognizing the urgent need to respond to the current environmental crisis. One way they are responding is through international cooperation by signing intergovernmental treaties committing their countries to the conservation and wise use of natural resources. The Convention on Wetlands, commonly known as the Ramsar Convention, is the first of these modern global intergovernmental treaties. The mission of the Ramsar Convention is "the conservation and wise use of wetlands by national action and international cooperation as a means to achieving sustainable development throughout the world" (Brisbane, 1996). It covers all aspects of wetland conservation and wise use for human benefit. This Convention provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the 118 contracting parties to the convention, which comprise 1014 wetland sites. These sites total an area of 72.7 million hectares, designated for inclusion in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance. Environment TOBAGO leads a youth group, Generation YES, on a Bon Accord wetlands field trip to commemorate Ramsar's World Wetlands Day 2000. 68
    • Why do countries join the Ramsar Convention? Countries join the Ramsar Convention or become ‘Contracting Parties’ in order to: • Endorse the principles of conservation and wise use of wetlands, with the development of country policies, legislation, and actions for this. • Bring publicity to and increase support for conservation and wise use of local wetlands designated on the List of Wetlands of International Importance. • Make their voice heard internationally about wetland conservation and wise use and encourage international cooperation for wetland conservation and wise use. • Get access to the latest information and technical expertise on wetland conservation and wise use. • Get support for wetland projects, with through the Convention's Small Grants Fund or external funding agencies. What do countries commit to when they join the Ramsar Convention? Countries make four main commitments when they join the Ramsar Convention: 1. To designate at least one site for the List of Wetlands of International Importance, and to promote its conservation and wise use. 2. To include wetland conservation and wise use principles in national land-use planning. 3. To establish protected wetland areas, and to promote training in the fields of wetland research, management and protection. 4. To cooperate with other countries for wetland conservation and wise use, especially with any wetland systems or species that are shared. Trinidad & Tobago and the Ramsar Convention Since joining the Ramsar Convention with effect in April 1993, T&T has taken advantage of several of the special Ramsar programmes designed to help countries achieve wetland conservation and wise use: ◊Nariva Swamp was designated for the List of Wetlands of International Importance, and remains the only Ramsar site in the country. ◊ The government requested formal listing of the Nariva Swamp on the Ramsar Montreux Record of sites under serious threat and deserving special attention. This request was met with a visit by an international expert mission in April 1995, and a comprehensive report was produced in February 1996. In October 1996 T & T was awarded a grant from the Ramsar Small Grants Fund for applying the recommendations made to a management plan for Nariva Swamp. 69
    • ◊T&T attended several Conferences of the Contracting Parties to share ideas and experiences, including speaking about regional issues since it was the only representative of the Caribbean to join the Convention for some time. ◊ T&T represents the Caribbean sub-region as a second 'alternate' member of the Ramsar Standing Committee. ◊ Professor Peter Bacon of the University of the West Indies (UWI) serves as an alternate member on the Scientific & Technical Review Panel for the Neotropical region. ◊A Wetland Research Group was set up UWI in 1994 under Professor Peter Bacon and continues to conduct research on the ecology and management issues of wetlands in T&T. ◊A National Wetlands Committee was established in January 1995, with representatives of relevant Government Ministries and non-government organisations. This Committee is currently engaged in planning management plans and projects for Nariva and Caroni Swamps and responding to other issues impacting on wetlands in T&T. ◊A draft National Wetlands Policy was developed by the National Wetlands Committee to guide the integration of wetland conservation and wise use into T&T national planning. This has been submitted for eventual approval and enactment by Parliament. Upcoming Plans Under Ramsar That Will Affect T&T The Summary Work Plan for the Americas Region for 2000 identifies several tasks that will assist T&T in implementing its policy of wise use and conservation of wetlands. ◊ Initiatives will be taken to encourage Caribbean states to join Ramsar and increase its acceptance in the region. T&T will continue to play a key leadership role to play in promoting Ramsar regionally. ◊ The Caribbean islands wetlands workshop will be held in Trinidad in September 2000 and Ramsar will assist with organization and attend. ◊ The Ramsar Wise Use Toolkit and the National Planning Tool/COP8 National Report format may be used for national priority setting and planning. ◊ T&T may submit project proposals to be considered for funding wetlands wise use and conservation in 2000. ◊ Ramsar is developing a catalogue of training centres and courses in the Americas and this information can be used to strengthen local capacity in wetlands wise use and conservation. Ramsar may also be able to support participation in training courses. A model proposal for the development of wetland training centres is also being developed. 70
    • ◊ Ramsar is developing a module on wetland conservation, sustainable use and implementation of the Ramsar Convention for the Americas, which can be used in public awareness and education programmes in T&T. Other materials (publications and videos) are also available. Information on Ramsar's website is being expanded and the Ramsar Handbook for the Americas will also be published. {PRIVATE "TYPE=PICT;ALT=ramsar250.jpg (6030 bytes)"} References 1. Alleng, G. P. (1997). Coastal Wetlands in Trinidad and Tobago: Status and Trends. Institute of Marine Affairs, Chaguaramas. 2. { HYPERLINK http://www.ramsar.org } 3. James, C., N. Nathai-Gyan & G. Hislop (1984). Neotropical Wetlands Project: National Report Trinidad and Tobago{PRIVATE "TYPE=PICT;ALT=dotblink.gif (995 bytes)"}{INCLUDEPICTURE d "pictures/dotblink.gif"}. Forestry Division. 4. National Wetlands Committee (1996). National Policy on Wetland Conservation: Trinidad and Tobago (draft). 71
    • Useful Sources of Information and Resources Environmental Organizations in Tobago Environment TOBAGO Education Centre 2nd Floor, Rollocks Building, Robinson Street, Upper Scarborough, Tobago Tel: 660 7462 Fax: 660 7467 E–mail: { HYPERLINK "mailto:envirtob@tstt.net.tt" } Website: www.scsoft.de/et Environment TOBAGO has built an environmental information center with hundreds of resource materials. You can find information here on environmental issues and eco- systems around the island. ET also has an extensive collection of teaching resources, such as teacher resource books with lesson ideas, posters, videos, books, and games. Schools and members can borrow resources and books free of charge. ET volunteers can also come to schools to deliver lectures and conduct demonstration lessons. Save Our Sea Turtles C/O Wendy Heron, Courland Bush Trace, Black Rock, Tobago Tel: 639 9669/0026 SOS has developed educational materials about turtle conservation. SOS can come to schools to conduct slide shows and interactive lectures. The Buccoo Reef Trust TLH Office Building, Milford Road, Scarborough, Tobago Tel: 635 2000 Fax: 639 7333 E-mail: Office@BuccooReef.org Website: { HYPERLINK "http://www.BuccooReefTrust.org" } Buccoo Reef Trust have developed educational materials focusing on the conservation of the Caribbean’s marine environment. Buccoo Reef Trust employees and volunteers can come to schools to conduct lectures and accompany school trips onto Buccoo Reef. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources Unit 678, Highmorr Centre, 78 Wilson Road Tel: 639 7636 Fax: 639 5232 E-mail: { HYPERLINK "mailto:dnre_tha@tstt.net.tt" } The Department of Environment and Natural Resources have an environmental education resource center that can be accessed for resource and lesson ideas. They have also developed a number of educational games and videos. Employees of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources can come to schools to conduct lectures and lessons. They are also available as guides for field trips. Institute of Marine Affairs Hilltop Lane, Chaguaramas, Trinidad Tel: 634 4291 Fax: 634 4433 E-mail: { HYPERLINK "mailto:director@ima.gov.tt" } Website: { HYPERLINK "http://www.ima.gov.tt" } The Institute of Marine Affairs have developed an education pack about Tobago’s coral reefs.
    • 72 Other environmental organizations These organizations can provide further information on the environment. Some will provide information free of charge, whilst others have a full catalogue of educational packs and publications for sale. Pointe-A-Pierre Wild Fowl Trust 42 Sandown Road, Goodwood Park, Pt Cumana, Trinidad Tel: (809) 637 5145 Fax: (809) 658 2513 Caribbean Conservation Association Chelford, Bush Hill, The Garrison, St. Michael, Barbados Tel: (246) 426 5373 E –mail: caribsurf.com Website: { HYPERLINK "http://www.caribbeanconservation.org" } West Indian Whistling Duck Working Group of the Society of Caribbean Ornithology C/o Lisa G. Sorenson, Ph.D., Dept. of Biology, Boston University, 5 Cummington Street, Boston, MA 02215, USA Website: { HYPERLINK "http://www.whistlingduck.org" } Mangrove Action Project General Delivery, Watering Place, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands Tel: (345) 948 0319 Fax: (345) 948 0640 E-mail: { HYPERLINK "mailto:mangrove@candw.ky" } National Wildlife Federation 8925 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, VA 22184, USA Tel: (703) 790 4100 Website: { HYPERLINK "http://www.nwf.org" } Project WET The Watercourse, 201 Culberston Hall, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT, 59717-0570, USA Tel: (406) 994 5392 Fax: 994 1919 E-mail: { HYPERLINK "mailto:rwwet@msu.oscs.montana.edu|par" } Coral Forest Suite 1040, 400 Montgomery Street. San Francisco, CA 94104, USA Tel: (415) 788 REEF Fax: (415) 398 0385 E-mail: { HYPERLINK "mailto:coral@igc.apc.org" } Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, Natural Resources Management Unit P.O.Box 1383, Castries, St Lucia Tel: (758) 453 6208 Fax: (758) 452 2194
    • 73 Teacher Resource Guidebooks Listed below is a range of teacher resource guides with ideas for lessons, projects and activities in and out of the classroom. All are available at the Environment TOBAGO education Centre. Wondrous West Indian Wetlands – Society of Caribbean Ornithology People and Corals – Caribbean Conservation Association Coral Reefs – An English Compilation of Activities for Middle School Students – National Centre for Environmental Publications and Information EnACT- An environmental education programme for primary schools in Trinidad and Tobago. – Nicole Leotaud in collaboration with the Ministry of Education Keep a Clean School Competition Teachers Information Packet – Environment TOBAGO Schools Recycling Programme Pilot Project Teachers Handbook – The Trinidad and Tobago Solid Waste Management Company LTD Envirokids Infant Environmental Activity Booklet – Environmental Management Authority Sea Turtle and Coastal Habitat Education Programme – An Educator’s Guide – Sea Turtle Survival League Turning the Tide on Trash – A learning Guide On marine Debris – United States Environmental Protection Agency Future Forests Teacher’s Guide – Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations E Patrol Environmental Action Programme – E- Patrol Foundation Give Water A Hand Action Guide – The Blue Thumb Programme The GLOBE Programme Teacher’s Guide – The GLOBE Programme
    • 74 Internet Resources The Internet is a wonderful source of information, pictures and ideas for activities connected with the environment. There are thousands of relevant websites. Most contain pages of links to other suitable websites so each of these sites is just a starting point. Web addresses change very quickly. If these addresses are out of date, use a search engine to search for the full name of the organization. ARK { HYPERLINK "http://www.arkive.org" } Organization trying to record the earth’s biodiversity in pictures and words. Discovery discovery.com General science site with good articles. Earth Island { HYPERLINK "http://www.earthisland.org" } Children’s environmental education site Eco Net { HYPERLINK "http://www.igc.org/igc/econet" } International network of environmental organizations and campaigners Friends of the Earth { HYPERLINK "http://www.foe.co.uk" } Excellent site with green living tips and educational materials GLOBE { HYPERLINK "http://www.globe.gov" } Worldwide environmental monitoring programme with resources and projects for school The Green Brick Road gbr.org American environmental education site Greenpeace www.greenpeace.org Site of campaigning organization Naturenet { HYPERLINK "http://www.naturenet.net" } Good starting point for environmental information Peacecorps { HYPERLINK "http://www.peacecorps.gov" }
    • Information and environmental educational resources Project Learning Tree { HYPERLINK "http://www.plt.org" } American environmental education project 75 Field Trips The value of field trips Nothing brings alive the value of the natural environment more than a field trip. Yes - you can show students a picture or a video of a coral reef, even get them to pretend to be the sea creatures that live there, but until they have actually experienced it first hand, they will never be able to fully appreciate it’s beauty and wonder. Once a student has seen these beautiful and diverse ecosystems for themselves, they will be far more in a position to realise the need to conserve and protect them. Despite the abundance of accessible natural ecosystems in Tobago, surprisingly few Tobagonians have visited them. Many teachers who participated in the programme had never been to the rainforest. It is our duty as educators to ensure that children in Tobago are given access to all that the island has to offer. If properly organized and planned, a field trip can also be great stimulus for a project and work in all subject areas. A trained guide can give information that might otherwise be unavailable or difficult to find. In addition, a school field trip is a memorable and enjoyable day out for the students, and one they will not forget in a hurry. Practicalities of organizing a field trip You must obtain permission from the Division of Education for any field trip. Your school may have application forms or they can be obtained for the Division of Education. When you have received a letter of approval, the next step is to seek the consent of the parents. A small fee will probably need to be charged for transport, which you will need to arrange yourself. Buses are available from state agencies and organizations such as the Education, Youth and Culture Departments, Community Development, and YTEPP. There should be no more than 20 students to 1 adult, though it is advisable to have more adults if possible. Parents are a good resource here. No sea bathing is allowed on school field trips. State agencies and organizations that can provide guides and assistance Environment TOBAGO Buccoo Reef Trust Department of the Environment and Natural Resources Institute of Marine Affairs Possible locations for field trips Buccoo Reef and Bon Accord Lagoon Speyside Reef and Little Tobago
    • Main Ridge Forest Reserve Kilgwyn Wetlands in Canaan, Lowlands 76
    • Planning a Unit of Lessons Planning a unit of lessons should follow the process outlined below DECIDE CONTENT OF UNIT (GOALS AND AIMS) ⇓ DETERMININE KEY OBJECTIVES ⇓ PLAN LESSONS ⇓ CONSTRUCT PRE-TEST ⇓ ADMINISTER PRE-TEST ⇓ ANALYSE PRE-TEST RESULTS ⇓ REVIEW UNIT AND LESSON PLANS ⇓ TEACH UNIT EVALUATE EACH LESSON ⇓ ADMINISTER POST TEST ⇓ EVALUATE COMPARE PRE- AND POST- TEST RESULTS ⇓ CONCLUSIONS & RECOMMENDATIONS
    • 77 1. DECIDE CONTENT OF UNIT Example for Standard 3 Goal: To prevent further loss of Tobago’s coral reefs Aim: To promote a greater understanding and appreciation of a coral reef eco-system, the life it supports and threats to coral reefs. 2. DETERMININE KEY OBJECTIVES Subjects: Science, Art and Craft, Drama. Social Studies Objectives: Students will be able to explain the food/energy relationship within, and construct a food web in a coral reef habitat, 2) make masks to represent inhabitants of a coral reef, 3) dramatise the movements of coral reef inhabitants. Students will be able to 1) identify pollutants, which adversely affect marine life, 2) suggest ways of reducing pollution. 3. PLAN LESSONS Example Weave a Food Web Subjects: Science, Art and Craft, Drama Aims: A greater understanding and appreciation of a coral reef ecosystem and the life it supports. Objectives: Students will be able to explain the food/energy relationship within, and construct a food web in a coral reef habitat, 2) make masks to represent inhabitants of a coral reef, 3) dramatise the movements of coral reef inhabitants. Previous knowledge: What a food chain is. Wildlife and plants found in a marine habitat. Key vocabulary: food chain, food web, energy Suggested Time: Session 1 – 30 mins Session 2 - 30 mins Session 3 – 40 mins Materials: card, colouring pencils, string, picture of a coral reef habitat, pictures of all the sea creatures in the food web Conceptual Knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Food chains are interconnected in an eco-system. (p30) The sea is a natural habitat for marine life. (p 31) Art and Craft: Decorative craft (p33) Activity: SESSION 1 1. Ask students what type of animals and plants live in the sea. Explain that in Tobago a lot of the sea life lives in and around coral reef habitats, feeding off each other.
    • 2. Re-cap with students on what a food chain is and ask them to give some examples of a food chain that might occur in a coral reef habitat. 78
    • 79
    • 1. Direct students to lay the string down on the ground so that the web stays intact. So that they can notice the pattern created by the interaction on the organisms. 2. Explain that coral reefs in Tobago are threatened by pollution and many fish and sea creatures, such as turtles are threatened by over-fishing 3. Ask all the corals to step back. Which animals will be affected if the coral disappears? 4. Explain that if one part of the coral reef habitat disappears, all the other parts will be affected. Sources, effects and reduction of marine pollution Subjects: Science, Social Studies Aims: Increase awareness of water pollution issues and ways in which it can be reduced Objectives: Students will be able to 1) identify pollutants, which adversely affect marine life, 2) suggest ways of reducing pollution. Previous knowledge: Students should know about marine eco-systems. Key vocabulary: pollution, pesticides, fertilizers, detergents, organic waste, petroleum products, sediments Suggested Time: Session 1 – 30 mins Session 2 – 40 mins Session 3 – 20 mins Materials: Wondrous West Indian Wetlands Teacher Resource Book, plank of wood, small brick, watering can, powdered food colouring, soil, coloured card Conceptual Knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Various forms of pollutants affect marine life (p31) Social Science: Environmental concerns which are the result of the exploitation of some natural resources. (p157) Suggest ways of alleviating some of the environmental concerns. (p157) Background information for teachers: Ideas for these lessons were taken from the “Wondrous West Indian Wetlands Teacher’ Resource Book” and “People and Corals – An education pack for Caribbean Primary Schools.” All schools in Tobago have received a copy of both of these resource books. Activity: SESSION 1 1. Ask students some of the ways in which they use water and what they think happens to the waste water when they finish with it. 2. Explain that when water washes down the plughole, drain or street it will end up polluting rivers that will eventually run into the sea. 3. Read poem Away on the Bay. Ask students to listen out for different types of pollution and effects. 80
    • 4. After you have finished reading the poem, ask children whether the waste from Away really did go away. 5. List on the board different types of pollution in Away and the effects of that pollution on marine life and people. 6. Discuss other forms of pollution that effect marine life and people. Eg. fertilizers, pesticides, sewage, oil, sediments. SESSION 2 1. Tell students that they are going to take a closer look at some of the activities that citizens of Away do and decide whether they are water polluting criminals. 2. They will be judge and jury and will use the information provided, to identify what water pollution crimes they are guilty of. 3. Give out copies of the Water Criminals? The Accused worksheet. Read out the information about each of the accused and decide whether each one is guilty. 4. If they decide that a citizen is guilty, they must pass sentence. The sentence will require the criminals to clean up their pollution and take steps to reduce pollution in the future. 5. Lead a discussion about the crimes committed by the water polluting criminals, and what each criminal could do in the future to minimize pollution SESSION 3 Preparation 1. Lay piece of wood with one end slightly elevated by a small brick and resting a couple of inches above the ground. The other end will lie directly on the ground, forming a triangle. 2. Spread soil on the elevated half of the wood to represent a farming area typical of Tobagonian landscape, with mounds for hills and valleys for streams and rivers. 3. On the bottom half of the slope, place green card to represent mangrove and blue card to represent sea. Pieces of dead coral may be placed onto blue card to represent coral reef. 1. Explain model to the students and how it represents a typical Tobago landscape. 2. Select a student to pour food colouring onto the upland areas. Explain how this represents various pollutants. Ask students what types of pollution there is in Tobago 3. What do you think will happen to the various pollutants when it rains? 4. Using watering can, select another student to sprinkle soil evenly with a good amount of water, representing heavy rainfall. Ideally, the river will begin to show signs of different coloured waters, evidence that pollutants can run-off from the land into the river, and eventually out to the sea. 5. Discuss the effects of this pollutant run off on people, animals and plants and the sea. 81
    • 4. CONSTRUCT PRE-TEST This test should be given to the students prior to starting the topic in order to determine what students already know. The following is a guide to types of questions that can be asked. Try to vary the types of questions in your test. TESTING There are basically two types of test items: A. Objective Items i. Completion items ii. True/false items iii. Two choice items iv. Multiple choice items v. Matching items B. Essay Items i. Short-answer items ii. Structured essays a. restricted b. extended iii. Unstructured essay items 82
    • 83
    • QUESTION EXAMPLES Recall In what year was the Main Ridge Forest Reserve declared protected? Define What is a mammal? Identify/Observe What birds do you have visiting your school grounds? Name What creatures do you finding on a coral reef? Yes/No Coral is a plant. Yes/No Designate Circle the animals that are reptiles? frog caiman turtle snake crab Explain What important functions do the wetland areas serve? State relationships Draw a diagram of a food chain that might occur on a coral reef. Identify the producer and the primary, secondary and tertiary consumers. Compare/Contrast Compare a range of insects found on the school grounds. What similarities and differences can you find? Predict What do you think would happen if the Main Ridge Forest Reserve was cut down? 84
    • Hypothesize Does polluted water always look different to clean water? Infer Read this passage “Did also in pursuance of your said instructions remove to Your Majesty a tract of wood land lying in the interior and most hilly parts of this island for the purpose of attracting frequent showers of rain upon which the fertility of lands in these climates doth entirely depend.” William Young – Main Ridge Forest Reserve Act 1776 Do you think that the Main Ridge Forest Reserve was created for the benefit of humans or the environment? Give reasons for your answer. Reconstruct Heavy rains in Tobago caused flooding in the Lowlands. Rivers were found to be full of tree trunks and soil. What do you think is the reason for this? Judge Does tourism help to preserve Tobago’s environment? Value Humans have the right to modify the natural environment to suit their needs. Discuss Defend Wetlands smell and are ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Why should we preserve them? Justify choice Would you like to see more or less tourist development in Tobago? Give reasons for your answer. 85
    • 5. ADMINISTER PRE-TEST Try to keep testing as informal as possible, so as not to overburden the students with testing. 6. ANALYSE PRE-TEST RESULTS Analysis of pre- test results will allow you to find out the student’s current level of knowledge as well as any misconceptions they may have about the topic. This will enable you to focus your lessons more on gaps in knowledge that the students have. 7. REVIEW UNIT AND LESSON PLANS At this point you may want to review and change some of the content of your lesson plans, based on your analysis of pre- test results 8. TEACH UNIT AND EVALUATE EACH LESSON The lesson plans given in the examples above may be done over a period of 1-2 weeks, covering Science, Art and Craft, Drama and Social Studies. Thus the environmental concepts that you want to teach are infused across the curricular. Evaluate what the children have achieved at the end of each lesson, in order to determine if the lessons were successful and whether the children achieved the learning objectives. Lesson plans can be adjusted accordingly. 9. ADMINISTER POST TEST This should be exactly the same as the pre test. 10. EVALUATE – COMPARE PRE- AND POST- TEST RESULTS This will allow you to find out how children’s knowledge and understanding of the topic has improved as a result of your lessons and whether the children achieved the learning objectives. 11. CONCLUSIONS & RECOMMENDATIONS Based on your evaluation, what conclusions can you draw about the success of the unit of lesson plans and what recommendations can you make if the topic was to be taught again? 86
    • Using the Lesson Plans These lessons have been designed with Primary school children in mind, but can easily be modified for use with other ages. Furthermore, the duration of each activity can be adapted to suit individual resources, abilities and needs. The lesson plans have been divided into seven sections, from Infant 1 – Standard 5. The environmental themes have been infused across the Primary curricular. Each lesson plan has been linked to the current curriculums for either Science, (September 2000) Social Sciences, (September 2001) Language Arts, (September 1999) Mathematics (September 1999) or Art and Craft (September 1997) and page references have been given. Some lessons also include Physical Education and Drama, but no curriculum links have been given for these. The lessons are designed to require only rudimentary resources, as we know that lack of resources is a big issue in Tobago’s schools. However, many of the activities do require space, so please use outdoor areas if you can. Try to arrange a field trip to go with these lessons, even if it is just a walk around the local area to observe wildlife. Tips for arranging field trips can be found in the chapter, Sources of Information and Resources. Background information has been given on some of the lesson plans where necessary and further information can be found in the chapter, Information on Tobago’s Environment. If you require further assistance please contact one of the environmental organizations or government agencies listed in the chapter, Sources of Information and Resources. Above all, these lesson plans should just be a starting point for infusing environmental education across the Primary school curricular. Try them out and then have a go at planning your own lessons, using these lesson plans as a model. There may be a pressing environmental issue in your community that you want to deal with. 87
    • Lessons - Infant 1 What is an eco system? Subjects: Science, Language Arts, Art and Craft Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: The homes of animals and plants need care and protection (p4) Language Arts: Make a picture dictionary. (p66) Ecosystem story Subjects: Language Arts, Science, Drama, Art and Craft Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Language Arts: Statement of ideas (p11) Using standard English structures (p13) Science: Different organisms live in different habitats. (p4) Art and Craft: Producing a drawing (p10) The natural environment of T&T Subjects: Science, Art and Craft Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Different organisms live in different habitats (p4) The homes of animals and plants need care and protection (p4) Art and Craft: Collage (p11) Litter Subjects: Science Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: A clean scene is a healthy scene (p4) Basic shapes in nature Subjects: Social Science, Mathematics, Art and Craft Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Social Science: Observe and identify features of the world in which they live (p44) Mathematics: Plane shapes and solids (p28) Art and Craft: Drawing objects from shapes (p11) The Weather Subjects: Social Studies Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Social Studies: The weather affects us. (p48) 88
    • What is an eco system? Subjects: Science, Language Arts, Art and Craft Aims: Demonstrate knowledge, care and concern for animals and plants in the local environment. Objectives: Students will be able to produce a picture dictionary of animals and plants in the local environment. Previous knowledge: Students should know the alphabet Key vocabulary: animal, eco-system, environment, living, non-living, plant Suggested Time: 2 periods and ongoing Materials: Pictures of animals and plants in T&T, drawing materials, paper Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: The homes of animals and plants need care and protection (p4) Language Arts: Make a picture dictionary. (p66) Background information for the teacher: This activity begins a project that should last the entire year as a display on the classroom wall. It aims to get students familiar with some of the ecosystem components, focusing on animals and plants from T&T only. It is important that students from an early age identify with and appreciate the rich biodiversity found in their country. Pictures of animals and plants may be difficult to obtain, and the teacher should start collecting these from newspapers and copies from other sources as early as possible, and it should be continued as a year-long activity. Activity: 1. Prepare large cards, one with each letter of the alphabet. 2. Paste the cards in a row along the sides of the classroom wall. 3. For each letter, identify some of the animals, plants, and non-living components of the environment that begin with that letter. 4. Under each letter of the alphabet, paste pictures of these. 5. During the year, have students draw pictures of other examples that they learn about, and add these. Some ideas are listed below, use others. Agouti, Alligator, Air, Ant Bat, Beetle, Beach, Butterfly, Bird, Blue Heron, Blackbird Caterpillar, Clouds, Caiman, Coconut tree, Capuchin monkey, Chip chip, Crab, Caracara Deer, Duck Egg, Eel, Egret Fish, Frog, Flower, Fruit, Fly, Fire Grass, Grasshopper Hive, Hawksbill turtle, Hummingbird, Hawk, Hill 89
    • Insect, Iguana Jacana Kiskidee, Kingfisher Lizard, Lappe, Land, Leatherback turtle, Lobster Matte, Mongoose, Monkey, Manatee, Mud, Mushroom, Moth Nut, Nature Orchid, Ocelot, Otter, Oyster, Oil bird, Owl Porcupine, Plant, Parrot, Pigeon, Pawi, Purple Gallinule, Pelican Quenk Rain, Red Howler Monkey Sun, Sand, Snake, Shark, Sting-ray, Soil, Shell, Spider, Scarlet Ibis, Starfish, Sand dollar Tattoo, Tree, Turtle Urchin Vampire bat, Vulture (corbeau), Vine Wahoo, Water, Worm, spider Web, Woodpecker Yam liZard, Zandoli Evaluation: Prepare picture cards of different animals, plants and non-living parts of the environment and have students identify the letter sound and letter. Choose a letter of the alphabet and have students list some of the items from the display that begin with that letter. Follow-up Activities: Read stories about items from the display. Bring in specimens of items from the display (for example leaves, insects, etc.). Set up a nature corner with items from the display or even an aquarium or terrarium. Dried leaves, seeds, small plants, bones, shells, aquaria and live animals (for example insects in jars) may be used. Teachers should emphasize to students that wild animals and plants belong in nature, and should be left there. Do a backyard assessment of animal and plant life as a school activity, or as a homework assignment. Visit the zoo to see some of the animals there (focus especially on animals native to T&T). 90
    • Ecosystem story Subjects: Language Arts, Science, Drama, Art and Craft Aims: Understand that ecosystems provide homes for animals. Objectives: Students will be able to 1) describe a chosen ecosystem and its animals and plants, 2) compose and dictate to teacher simple stories, 3) identify places in which animals live as aquatic or terrestrial, 4) dramatise the animals that live in the eco-system, 5) draw a picture of an ecosystem. Previous knowledge: Students should be familiar with some of the animals and plants found in T&T and elsewhere Key vocabulary: animal, plant, ecosystem, environment Suggested Time: 1 period Materials: pictures of chosen ecosystem Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Language Arts: Statement of ideas (p11) Using standard English structures (p13) Science: Different organisms live in different habitats. (p4) Art and Craft: Producing a drawing (p10) Background information for the teacher: The teacher should choose the ecosystem type that would be most familiar to the students. Three stories are given here, but any others that are suitable may be read in addition to or instead of these. Activity: Read one of the following short stories about different animals and plants found in nature. Show students pictures of the ecosystem. Ask students to describe the different objects in the ecosystem. Discuss what life in the ecosystem must be like. Ask students to pick an animal and relate or dramatize what its life is like in that ecosystem. A morning in the swamp Watch out little fish, you're in my way. It's morning and I want to swim up the river to see what delicious plants I can eat for my breakfast. I am a manatee, and I am the biggest wild animal in Trinidad. I live in the rivers and swamps. Some people call me a sea cow because I like to eat plants just like a cow. I eat lots and lots of plants every day, because I'm very big and I need lots of food. I eat plants that are in the water, floating on top of it, or are on the banks at the edge of my pond. I can just stick my head out enough to nibble on the leaves that are 91
    • hanging over the cool water. I'm too fat to climb out of the water, and besides, I don't have any feet! I do have a big tail and two flippers that I use for swimming. Even though I'm big and fat, I am a very good swimmer. I love to roll around in the cool water. I can hold my breath for a long as 30 minutes, but I usually stick my little nose out of the water every few minutes to breathe. How long can you hold your breath for? Busy at the beach It's another sunny day at the beach. The waves are crashing on to the shore and a warm breeze is blowing the sand across my path. I move carefully sideways towards my hole. I am a crab and I can only walk sideways. I have eight legs, four on each side of my flat body. My eyes stick out above my shell so that I have a very good view all around me and can see where I am walking. My hard shell is good protection against any animals that want to eat me. I can see the corbeaus (vultures) at the edge of the water feeding on a big dead fish that washed up last night. There are many fish of different sizes and shapes that live in the cool salty sea. I think that I am going to hide in my hole for a while those big birds are around. My cozy hole is just next to a big coconut tree. There are hardly any plants growing near to the beach because of the wind that blows salty water onto them. Most plants don't like this, but coconut trees can grow just fine. The cool forest I am an ant. I live together with other ants in a big underground nest. I am a worker ant and my job every day is to go and collect leaves and bring them back to the nest. We use the leaves to make a garden where we grow a special type of fungus that we eat. We don't eat the leaves. Workers like me are very busy all day, marching to and from our nest with juicy green leaves. We make a long line as we walk. Have you ever seen our line of ants? We are small, but our friends the soldier ants protect us and protect the nest. They are big and have sharp pincers to bite with. Our nest has one queen. Her job is to lay eggs so that new ants will be born. The nurse ants take care of the young ants and give them food to eat. In the ant nest, we all work together but we each have our own jobs. We are like one very big family. What are the different jobs that the people in your family do in the house? Evaluation: Students should draw a picture of an ecosystem, and relate the story of what they see in their picture. Students should make up a story from a picture of the ecosystem. Follow-up Activities: Field trip to the ecosystem. See Appendix 2 for a list of possible sites. Collect pictures and drawings of the ecosystem for display in the classroom. Start a nature corner using items from the ecosystem or even an aquarium or terrarium. Dried leaves, seeds, small plants, bones, shells, and live animals (for example insects in jars) may be used. Teachers should emphasize to students that wild animals and plants belong in nature, and should be left there. 92
    • The natural environment of T&T Subjects: Science, Art and Craft Aims: Demonstrate care and concern for the natural homes of organisms. Objectives: Students will be able to 1) name specific organisms and their habitats, 2) organise materials to make a collage. Previous knowledge: Students should know some basic information about one of the ecosystems of T&T, for example swamp, forest or beach Key vocabulary: wildlife, animal, ecosystem, environment, habitat, plant Suggested Time: 4 periods Materials: drawing materials, paper, scissors, glue, pictures of the chosen ecosystem and animals and plants found in it Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Different organisms live in different habitats (p4) The homes of animals and plants need care and protection (p4) Art and Craft: Collage (p11) Background information for the teacher: The teacher should choose the ecosystem type that would be most familiar to the students. The teacher could read stories from previous lesson students. Activity: SESSION I 1. Draw the outline of a house on the blackboard or a sheet of Bristol board. 2. Ask the students to name some of the things you would find in a house, for example: a person, beds, plants, food, and pets. 3. Let each student draw and cut out one of these items. 4. Paste up the different items to make a collage of the things in a home. 5. Discuss how this is the "home environment" for people because it provides shelter, food, space and water. Also discuss how other animals and plants share people's home (pets, plants). 6. Discuss how habitat means "home environment" of animals and plants. SESSION II 1. Choose one of the ecosystems in T&T, and review what are some of the animals and plants found there. The teacher can use pictures of the ecosystem and discuss what is shown in the pictures. Three suggestions for ecosystems are given: swamp, forest and beach, and a brief list of some of the plants and animals found in each is given below. Others may be used. 93
    • ecosystem swamp forest beach Some manatees, fish, plants, ants, insects, crabs, corbeaux, birds, common mangrove trees, parrots, monkeys, deer, trees, fish, turtles, dogs, animals & monkeys, caiman, spiders, vines, small plants, coconut trees. plants insects, ospreys. birds, snakes. 2. Ask the students to select one animal or plant found in the ecosystem and draw and colour it, and cut it out. 3. Discuss what is the home or habitat of these animals and plants: water, land, air etc.. SESSION III 4. Discuss how people also use the habitat of animals and plants, and what are some of the activities that they carry out. 5. Discuss how these affect the animals and plants that live there. Some examples for stimulating the discussion are given below. 6. Discuss how humans can also use an ecosystem if they are careful not to impact negatively on the habitat of animals and plants. ecosystem swamp forest beach activities fishing, boating hunting, recreation, fishing, recreation hiking Evaluation: The teacher can bring in pictures of other animals and plants found in the ecosystem and ask students to identify its habitat. On a large sheet (reused paper like newspaper sheets or brown paper bags cut into a sheet) may be used) draw in these features of the environment: water, land, and air. For example, for a beach draw in the sea and sand. Have students make a collage picture or mural showing the habitat and a few of the animals and plants found there by asking each student where its animal or plant is found and pasting it in the appropriate place. Have students list examples of human activities taking place in some ecosystems of T&T. Follow-up Activities: Field trips to visit examples of these ecosystems. See Appendix 2 for a list of possible sites. These ecosystem murals can be left up on the wall of the classroom and an ongoing project should be for students to collect pictures and stories about these that can be added to the murals over the year. 94
    • Litter Subjects: Science Aims: Encourage students not to litter. Objectives: Students will be able to 1) identify and classify different types of solid waste, 2) identify one item that can be recycled, 3) show concern for the environment. Previous knowledge: Students should be familiar with some of he animals and plants found in T&T and elsewhere. Key vocabulary: waste, pollution, litter, reduce, recycle, trash Suggested Time: 3 periods Materials: litter Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: A clean scene is a healthy scene (p4) Background information for the teacher: This lesson serves as an introduction to the pollution problem, beginning with the problem of domestic waste. The principles of reduce, reuse and recycle will be taught. Unfortunately, T&T has very limited recycling programmes, but every use should be made of those that exist. The teacher can call up such programmes (for example Carib Glass) to find out how the school can participate in their programme. Despite this limitation, the principles of reducing waste and reusing materials can be readily applied to everyday life, in the school, in the home, and in the workplace. This lesson should be used to stimulate consciousness of the students, and to initiate a program for pollution management in the school. Even very young students can begin to participate. Care should be taken not to expose the students to any harmful litter (such as broken glass etc.). Students must carefully wash their hands after handling all litter. Activity: SESSION I 1. Discuss what is litter by giving examples from everyday life. Discuss how litter is produced as waste from human activities. For example: wrappings and food containers become waste; old copybooks and other paper become waste; old cars and appliances that are no longer working become waste. 2. List and explain alternate words for litter: trash, waste, pollution, etc.. 3. Explain how waste is made up of many different types of items and materials, including plastic, paper, glass and cans. 95
    • 4. Bring in a collection of litter and have students sort and classify the items into different materials: paper, plastic, glass, metal, or other. SESSION II 1. Discuss how some litter can be reused, for example plastic containers and some paper. 2. Discuss why it is important to reuse where possible in order to reduce the amount of litter. 3. Discuss which items in the containers could have been reused and not thrown away. 4. Make a display of items that can be reused on the display corner or table. Have students make labels for the different items, to practice their writing. Have students colour or trace the letters. Make a big label "REUSE" for the display. 5. Discuss how some materials can be recycled, for example glass. Find out how the glass litter from the school can be recycled, and do it. 6. Discuss how some waste can be reduced. For example, were things thrown away that could still be used? Were things thrown away that were unnecessary packaging? Discuss some ideas of how students can reduce the amount of waste that they produce. Evaluation: From a small collection of items, ask students to identify those that fall into different categories: paper, glass, metal, plastic. From a small collection of items, ask students to identify one item that can be recycled. Follow-up Activities: Develop a “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” program in the school. reduce Encourage the students not to waste. This includes taking care of objects so that they last. Some ideas on how to reduce waste are: use towels instead of paper napkins and handkerchiefs instead of tissues; put sandwiches in washable containers instead of foil or plastic bags; use washable plates, glasses and cups instead of disposable ones; take your own cloth bags to the market, store, and grocery; and make a compost pile in a corner of your backyard at home to use food scraps (especially vegetables) as manure. reuse Reusing paper is easy. Often we only use one side of the paper, we can sometimes use both sides. Send a note to parents or local businesses and ask them to donate any waste computer paper from their work. Make full use of old newspapers, magazines, and paper bags. Reuse old containers and tins. Have boxes in the classroom for: old paper bags, old plastic bags, newspapers and magazines, scrap paper, plastic containers, tins and jars. recycle Set up a program to recycle glass and any other materials for which there is a program in T&T. Have a bin for each item to be recycled, and label it. 96
    • Basic shapes in nature Subjects: Social Science, Mathematics, Art and craft Aims: Use the senses to appreciate the environment. Objectives: Students will be able to 1) describe 2 and 3 dimensional shapes found in the environment using informal language, 2) develop drawing of objects beginning with basic shapes. Previous knowledge: Students should know basic 2 and 3 dimensional shapes Key vocabulary: animal, eco-system, environment, living, non-living, plant Suggested Time: 3 periods Materials: drawings or pictures of animals and plants, paper for cutting shapes (old newspapers, magazines, reused paper), paper for drawing (reused paper for example from old bags), drawing materials, scissors, glue, plasticine, stencils of 2 dimensional shapes (can be cut out of old cardboard). Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Social Science: Observe and identify features of the world in which they live (p44) Mathematics: Plane shapes and solids (p28) Art and Craft: Drawing objects from shapes (p11) Background information for the teacher: This lesson encourages students to closely observe nature. It is only through familiarity with nature that students can understand and appreciate their environment and their role in it. Activity: SESSION I 1. Review the basic two and three dimensional shapes: 2. Discuss how many of these shapes can be seen in nature, using drawings or pictures of plants and animals. Some ideas are given below, but many others may be found. Use those that are most familiar to the students, and commonly seen in their environment. object in nature shape sun circle and sphere hills triangles and pyramids rocks and stones circles and spheres beach shells ovals, circles, triangles flower petals ovals, circles leaves ovals, circles 97
    • eyes circles fish fins triangles tree trunk cylinder worm cylinder ant or bacchak body made up of three oval spheres SESSION II 1. Have the students make a colourful animal or plant as a collage. This activity can be done in groups or individually. 2. Draw several colourful shapes in different sizes on pieces of paper, and have the students cut these out. Or provide students with shapes already cut out from old magazines, newspapers, labels, or other recycled paper. 3. Let students create their animal or plant by pasting these shapes together on a piece of paper. It is a good idea to use sheets of newspaper, cut out sheets from brown paper bags, or other recycled paper. Discuss with the students why it is important to reuse. Crayons can also be used to add details to the picture. 4. Ask students to give their animal or plant a name, say where it is found and something about it (for example what an animal eats, what eats a plant, etc.). 5. Exhibit these in the classroom. 6. Review that two and three-dimensional shapes are seen in nature. Evaluation: Conduct a mini-field trip in the schoolyard and ask students to identify shapes in nature that they see. Draw a large plant on the board, or in a poster. Use green triangles for leaves, a long brown thin rectangle for the stem, ovals for the petals of the flowers, and circles for the fruit. It may be helpful to use different colours for each shape. Ask the students to identify the different shapes that they see. Let students use stencils of the different shapes to create a drawing of animals and plants in nature. Ask students to identify the shapes that they see in the coral reef picture. Bring in samples or pictures of animals and plants or other items in nature and ask students to identify the shapes that they see. Have students draw and colour shapes in the food we eat that come from nature. Discuss how an orange is a sphere, cut in half, and see the circle shape. Examine how each peg in the cross section looks like a triangle. Look at the cross section of a coconut to see the circle, the star shape in the star apple, the oval in the mango. What shape is an ear of corn, a carrot, an onion, a cabbage, a grain of rice? Use other examples. 98
    • The Weather Subjects: Social Studies Aims: To understand that weather affects ecosystems and the animal life they support. Objectives: Students will be able to 1) identify different types of weather, 2) identify ecosystems associated with different kinds of weather. Previous knowledge: Students should be familiar with some of the animals and plants found in T&T and elsewhere. Key vocabulary: ecosystem, environment, weather, sunny, cloudy, rainy, windy, hot, cool, wet, dry Suggested Time: 2 periods Materials: drawing materials, paper, scissors, pictures showing ecosystems experiencing different weather conditions. Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Social Studies: The weather affects us. (p48) Background information for the teacher: It is important the students understand that an ecosystem does not only consist of the animals and plants that live there, but also the abiotic environment, of which weather is an important component. Activity: Pre-Activity: 1. The teacher should draw and cut out symbols for the following weather conditions: sunny, cloudy, rainy, windy, hot, cool, wet, or dry. Hands-on: 1. Discuss what each of the given weather symbols means. 2. Read the following descriptions of the conditions in an ecosystem and ask students to identify the matching weather condition(s). All the birds in the forest had to take shelter under the leaves of the big trees. They did not want to get their feathers wet because then it would be difficult for them to fly. Even the ants on the forest floor had stopped their busy work. They were sheltering in their underground nest. There were puddles of water everywhere. As we walked through the forest we could see the footprints left by our boots. Our clothes were wet. There was a group of fishermen at the edge of the sea. They were getting ready to go in their boat to catch some fish. They were wearing hats to shade their eyes. They were sweating, and some of them had taken off their shirts to cool down. Some kids were 99
    • swimming. The crabs were hiding in their shady holes. They did not like to get too hot. The branches of the coconut trees at the edge of the beach were bent from the wind blowing in from the sea. In the river nearby a caiman was floating peacefully on top of the water. It wanted to warm up its body after the cool night. Evaluation: Show students pictures of different ecosystems experiencing different weather conditions and ask them to match the conditions with the weather symbols. Follow-up Activities: Create a weather chart on the wall or board to show the weather each day by using tacks on the weather symbols. Assign a student each day to identify the weather conditions and tack on the appropriate symbol(s). Read stories about the weather in different ecosystems, and how it affects the animals and plants that live there. 100
    • Lessons – Infant 2 Plant growth Subjects: Science Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Seeds undergo changes as they germinate (p9) Seed Germination Subjects: Science, Language Arts, Drama Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Seeds undergo changes as they germinate. (p9) Language Arts: Speaking – Sharing information and feelings (p12) Writing – Extended writing task (p71) Classifying animals Subjects: Science Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Animals can be grouped according to different traits. (p9) Litter in schools Subjects: Science Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: It is important to properly dispose of litter (p11) An aquarium ecosystem Subjects: Science, Art & Craft Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: The aquarium is an artificial aquatic habitat. ( p11 ) Art & Craft: develop skills in drawing and colouring. ( p16 ) Mystery Objects Subjects: Science, Art and Craft Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Common structures have form and function (p12) Art and Craft: Explore and identify shapes and patterns (p15) 101
    • Plant growth Subjects: Science Aims: Develop an understanding that seeds need certain conditions to germinate and grow. Objectives: Students will be able to 1) identify a seedling growing in a jar as an ecosystem consisting of living and non-living components, 2) measure the growth of a seedling, 3) describe the effect of particulate air pollution on growth of a seedling, 4) describe the effect of lack of water on a seedling, 5) construct a bar graph with strips of paper, which match the height of seedlings on particular day. Previous knowledge: Students should know that an ecosystem is comprised of living and non- living components and be familiar with examples of ecosystems. Key vocabulary: plant, growth, seedling, light, water, air experiment, pollution Suggested Time: 2 periods (and daily periods of seedling care for approximately 4 weeks Materials: bean seeds, 8 glass jars, cotton wool, water, newspaper, strips of paper (reused paper), 8 sheets of paper for bar graphs, glue, scissors Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Seeds undergo changes as they germinate (p9) Background information for the teacher: This popular experiment to show growth of a bean seedling has been expanded to test for the importance of light and water for plant growth. This is then linked with how particulate air pollution (dust, soot, etc.) may smother leaves and block light from reaching the plant, thus hampering plant growth. These discussions are important to start students thinking about the effect of human activities on the natural environment. Also emphasize that these impact negatively on humans themselves. Activity: SESSION I 1. Review examples of ecosystems that have been discussed previously. Discuss how an ecosystem is made up of plants and animals, as well as non-living things like soil, water, air, and light. 2. Discuss how plants are living things that need food, water, and air to live and grow. 3. Explain that plants produce seeds, and new plants grow from these seeds. Use the analogy of animals that hatch from eggs laid by their mother, or are born live from their mother. 4. Discuss how a bean seed will germinate and grow into a new bean plant if it is given air, food, water, and light. 102
    • 5. Have students plant 2-3 bean seeds in a glass jar, using cotton wool as a substrate. Prepare 4 pairs of jars in this way. Place jars next to each other in an airy well-lit environment. 6. Leave the beans to germinate, watering daily for 2 weeks or until the seedlings are about 15 centimeters long. 7. Use strips of paper to measure the height of each seedling every other day. Tear off the strip at the length of the seedling. 8. Paste these strips of paper onto a background to construct a bar graph. Do two bar graphs next to each other for each pair of jars. SESSION II 1. Review how plants need air, water, food and light to live and grow. 2. Set up experiments to demonstrate this, using the 4 pairs of jars under the conditions given in the table below. Pair 1 Control: Leave as was, watering as usual. Pair 2 Test for the importance of light: Use newspapers to construct a loose shade to be placed over each jar, allowing air to pass in at the bottom and watering as usual. Pair 3 Test for the effect of particulate air pollution (dust or soot): Gently dust powder or flour over the surface of the seedlings' leaves until it covers most of the leaf surface. Water as usual. Pair 4 Test for the importance of water: Leave as was, but do not water. 3. Leave these seedlings for 2 more weeks, measuring every other day as before, and recording measurements on the bar graphs. 4. At the end of this time, compare the growth of the pairs of seedlings grown under the different conditions. Discuss the importance of light and water for growth. 5. Discuss how particulate air pollution produces from soot from burning, exhaust from vehicles and factories, and dust from quarries and other sources can smother the surfaces of leaves and hamper plant growth. Discuss why it is important to minimize this type of pollution to protect plants, animals, and humans. Evaluation: Have students answer under which experimental conditions the seedling grew fastest. Have students describe the effect of lack of water on plant growth. Have students describe the effect of particulate pollution on plant growth. 103
    • Seed Germination Subjects: Science, Language Arts, Drama Aims: Develop an understanding that seeds undergo changes as they germinate. Objectives: Students will be able to 1) draw the changes that take place in a seed as it grows over a 7-day period, 2) learn and recite a poem about seed growth with actions, 3) write a diary of a bean seed as it germinates and grows. Previous knowledge: Seeds germinate and grow into plants Key vocabulary: germination, seedling, growth, roots, stem Suggested Time: Session 1 – 20 mins Session 2 – 20 mins Session 3 - 30 mins initially, and to continue over a week. Materials: planted bean seeds, which have begun to germinate, Growing poem, Diary of a bean seed sheets Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Seeds undergo changes as they germinate. (p9) Language Arts: Speaking – Sharing information and feelings (p12) Writing – Extended writing task (p71) Preparation 1. Students should have already planted bean seeds and they should have begun to germinate 2. Students should have already learnt about the seed growing process. Activity: SESSION 1 1. Ask students to describe what happens to a bean seed when it starts to germinate, then grow. 2. Read out the Growing Poem. (This should be written out on Bristol Board for the students to read also). Growing Poem This is a seed, so small, so small. I hope someday it will grow tall. First the roots grow way down deep They grow so low, they creep and creep. Next the seed sprouts up and out! “Hey where’s the sun?” it starts to shout. Up it grows! The leaves grow too! And maybe some beans, just for you. 3. Ask students to say poem with you. Repeat a few times until they have learnt it. 4. Teach students movements that go with the poem 104
    • Movements Make fists with your hands. Place them on top of each other, one palm facing down to the ground and the other facing up to the ceiling. Open bottom fist and dangle the fingers below. On the word out, point thumb on top fist straight up. Wiggle thumb. Move arm up along side of bottom fist like a plant growing. Open two fingers for leaves. Open a fingers dangling down for beans. SESSION 2 1. Ask students to imagine that they are a bean seed that has been planted. Get them to curl themselves up in to a ball with their eyes closed, so that it is dark. Imagine they are planted and water is poured onto them. 2. Ask students to shout out words to describe how they feel. 3. Ask students to imagine that they are swelling. They can show this with there bodies by spreading their bodies out slightly. How do they feel? 4. Imagine that the roots are trying to break out at the bottom of the seed. Students can show this by one arm down to the ground and shaking out their fingers. What does it feel like? 5. Now the stem is trying to burst out of your head. Students can raise other arm up into the air. How does it feel? 6. Ask students to begin to slowly stretch up into the air and reach towards the sun. What does this feel like? SESSION 3 1. Show students enlarged copy of Diary of a Bean Seed. Tell them that they are going to write their own 7-day diary about germinating putting themselves in the position of the bean. 2. Discuss with students what a diary is – a record of feelings and events. 3. Model how to write the first page of the diary, using some of the vocabulary students used during the drama exercise. Focus on what is happening to you and how you feel about it. 4. Model how to draw a picture to go with the diary entry to record the changes. 5. Students can write their own diary entry about their first day as a planted bean seed. 6. Continue to write diary entries throughout the week, drawing pictures of how the bean changes as it germinates and grows. 105
    • Classifying animals Subjects: Science Aims: Increase knowledge of animals Objectives: Students will be able to 1) identify major physical observable characteristics of different groups of animals, 2) classify pictures of animals using a decision tree. Previous knowledge: Key vocabulary: wildlife, animal, ecosystem, habitat Suggested Time: 3 periods Materials: Items from the classroom, drawings, or pictures of animals.
    • Classifying animals Subjects: Science Aims: Increase knowledge of animals Objectives: Students will be able to 1) identify major physical observable characteristics of different groups of animals, 2) classify pictures of animals using a decision tree. Previous knowledge: Key vocabulary: wildlife, animal, ecosystem, habitat Suggested Time: 3 periods Materials: Items from the classroom, drawings, or pictures of animals. Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Animals can be grouped according to different traits. (p9) Background information for the teacher: Every effort is made here to follow the accepted scientific classification system used for animals. Students can begin at a very early age to learn the important characteristics that separate the various groups. It is not important that they learn every term, but many of them will be familiar (bird, fish, insect) and others may be emphasized at the discretion of the teacher. Other appropriate terms may be used, for example “Animals with Bones” to describe vertebrates. Teachers should select animals that the students will be relatively familiar with, or spend preparatory time reviewing this. Activity: SESSION I 1. Conduct a simple classification of different items commonly found in the classroom to illustrate the principles of classification using observational skills. 2. Use items from groups of items used in the classroom, and classify them into: things used to write with (chalk, crayons, pencils, pens); things made of paper (books, paper, newspapers); and things to eat (food). 3. Then take a group and classify it further. For example, separate all the writing instruments into different colours, or separate the food into different types (fruit, drinks, sandwiches, etc.). Discuss how things can be grouped depending on how they look. SESSION II 1. Prepare drawings or collect pictures of the following animals: ant, cockroach, dog, agouti, deer, lizard, alligator, parrot, pigeon, spider, crab, guppy, redfish, jellyfish, turtle, frog, centipede and millipede. 2. Review and discuss some of the main observable characteristics of these different animals. 106
    • 3. Classify these into groups based on observable characteristics using the classification tree given below. Draw the tree on the blackboard or a large chart and as a class activity ask the questions given to place each animal in turn into its appropriate category. The teacher may have to tell the students whether the animals have bones or not, since this cannot be directly observed. 4. Paste pictures of the animals under their categories. Does the animal have bones inside of its body? | | | | Yes = VERTEBRATE No = INVERTEBRATE How many legs does the animal have? How many legs does the animal have? | | | | | | | | | | none = FISH 2 = BIRD 4 = MAMMAL 6 = INSECT | AMPHIBIAN | REPTILE 8, many or none = Does the animal have fur? OTHER INVERTEBRATE | | | | Yes = MAMMAL No = AMPHIBIAN or REPTILE Does the animal spend part of its life in the water? Does it have flippers or webbed feet to help it swim in the water? | | | | Yes = AMPHIBIAN No = REPTILE Evaluation: Paste up the pictures on a large board into their groups according to the classification tree. Review the questions asked to separate out these groups. Ask students what common features place the animals in each group. Ask what features distinguish different groups. Ask students to place these or other animals into these groups, using the same series of questions in the decision tree: dinosaur (reptile), monkeys (mammals), carite (fish), beetle (insect), corbeau (bird), etc.. Ask students what group they think people fit into (humans). Discuss how humans have changed so that some features of their group are different (now walk on two feet, other two adapted for holding, etc.). Follow-up Activities: Divide students into groups representing the different groups of animals. Let each group collect pictures or do drawings of animals in their group. Display these groups on the classroom wall. 107
    • Litter in schools Subjects: Science Aims: Encourage students not to litter Objectives: Students will be able to 1) demonstrate an appreciation of the waste disposal problem, 2) show a concern for maintaining a clean and healthy environment 3) identify and classify different types of solid domestic waste. Previous knowledge: Students should know that litter is waste from human activities, and know the three R’s reduce, reuse and recycle. Key vocabulary: waste, pollution, litter, environment Suggested Time: 2 periods and ongoing Materials: several large litter containers, coloured paper, litter Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: It is important to properly dispose of litter (11) Background information for the teacher: This lesson is a further development of the Litter lesson in Infant 1 Care should again be taken not to expose the students to any harmful litter (such as broken glass etc.). Students must carefully wash their hands after handling all litter. After this activity, the teacher should continue to help students implement the principles learnt into daily life, for example by encouraging the reuse of materials where possible, both in the school and at home. Activity: Pre-Activity: Bring in (or ask the students to bring in) several large containers for the classroom that can be used for collecting trash. Hands-on: SESSION I 1. Review how litter is produced from human activities, giving examples from everyday life. Recall how litter is made up of many different types of items and materials, including plastic, paper, glass, and cans. 2. Instruct students how to separate their trash into the marked containers for one day. Separate paper, litter from food (lunch wrappers, containers, etc.), plastic, glass, cans, other 108
    • 3. After the day is over, examine the contents of the different containers. 4. Discuss how some litter can be reused, for example plastic containers and some paper. Discuss why it is important to reuse where possible in order to reduce the amount of litter. Discuss which items in the containers could have been reused and not thrown away. 5. Discuss how some materials can be recycled, for example glass. Find out how the glass litter from the school can be recycled, and do it. 6. Discuss how some waste can be reduced. For example, were things thrown away that could still be used? Were things thrown away that were unnecessary packaging? Discuss some ideas how students can reduce the amount of waste that they produce. 7. Now separate the litter into piles of what can be reduced, reused, recycled, and a pile for what must be thrown away. Count how many bags of trash of each of these categories produced. Use any size bag, grocery bags will work well. Label each group of bags with a colour. Let green represent the litter that can be reduced, that is never dumped in the garbage in the first place. Let yellow represent litter that can be recycled. Let blue represent litter that can be reused. Let red be the litter that cannot be reduced, reused, or recycled, and therefore must go to the garbage dump. 8. Write on the board how many of each colour container were produced by the class. 9. Review how human activities produce large quantities of waste. SESSION II 1. Do a demonstration to look at the effect of reducing the litter that is being produced. 2. Sit the students in a circle. 3. Divide the students into teams so that there is a team assigned for each class in the school. 4. Give each team four different colour squares or blocks: red, yellow, blue and green. These represent the different types of litter that have already been sorted. Give each team an accurate proportion of the different blocks according to the number of bags of trash produced by the class from Session I. 5. Draw a circle with chalk on the floor as the place where the garbage from the school is dumped. 6. Let all the teams of garbage collectors put all of their blocks of garbage in a pile in the circle. 7. Discuss how the circle is full of garbage. Discuss what would happen tomorrow when more litter is added. Discuss what happens when people keep producing more and more litter. 8. Discuss how dumping of litter in the environment pollutes the environment, and how this can be harmful for humans, animals, and plants. 9. Now let each team remove their green, yellow and red blocks in turn. After each removal discuss how this reduces the amount of litter that needs to be dumped. Discuss how people can act to reduce the amount of litter produced by reducing, reusing and recycling. Evaluation: Give students the homework assignment to ask their parents: (1) how many bags of trash they throw away every week, (2) what items in the house do they reuse, and (3) what items do they recycle. Add up the number of bags for the whole class. Discuss how long 109
    • it would take to fill up the whole classroom with bags of trash if they were all dumped there. Discuss what items were reused and recycled. Ask students what they were going to do to help reuse, recycle, and reduce how much litter each of them produced. Make a collection of items that can be reused for the display corner or table. Have students make labels for the different items. Have students colour or trace the letters. Make a big label "REUSE" for the display. Follow-up Activities: Make a picture to label the containers for the glass (and other material) to be recycled. Print "RECYCLE" and draw a picture of a glass bottle, etc.. Have the students trace the letters and colour the picture. Let students take this poster home to label the container for recycled items in the house. Let students encourage parents to reuse and recycle at home. Develop a reduce, reuse and recycle program in the school. Let the students develop posters that highlight the importance of this program, and labels to place above each container to illustrate what the contents of the container are, and how they should be sorted. Display these in the classroom, in the school, and at home. Have students interview their parents to ask them, which of their childhood things they have saved, for the students to reuse. It may be clothes, books, toys, furniture, a house, land, etc.. In class, discuss the importance of one generation taking care of the environment so that it can also be used by future generations. reduce Encourage the students not to waste. This includes taking care of objects so that they last. Some ideas on how to reduce waste are: use towels instead of paper napkins and handkerchiefs instead of tissues; put sandwiches in washable containers instead of foil or plastic bags; use washable plates, glasses and cups instead of disposable ones; take your own cloth bags to the market, store, and grocery; and make a compost pile in a corner of your backyard at home to use food scraps (especially vegetables) as manure. reuse Reusing paper is easy. Often we only use one side of the paper, we can sometimes use both sides. Send a note to parents or local businesses and ask them to donate any waste computer paper from their work. Make full use of old newspapers, magazines, and paper bags. Reuse old containers and tins. Have boxes in the classroom for: old paper bags, old plastic bags, newspapers and magazines, scrap paper, plastic containers, tins and jars. recycle Set up a program to recycle glass and any other materials for which there is a program in T&T. Have a bin for each item to be recycled, and label it. 110
    • An aquarium ecosystem Subjects: Science, Art & Craft Aims: To create and maintain an artificial ecosystem. Objectives: Students will be able to 1) describe how an aquarium is an artificial eco-system that consists of living and non-living components, 2) classify the species in an ecosystem according to their trophic level, that is into plants and herbivores, 3) describe how the species in an ecosystem are linked by their feeding relationship, 4) draw pictures of living components of the ecosystem. Previous knowledge: Students should know what an ecosystem and a food chain are. Key vocabulary: ecosystem, plant, animal, herbivore, carnivore, food chain Suggested Time: 3 periods Materials: glass or plastic container, water, aquatic plants, fish, stones, or other substrate, fish food, paper cards, drawing material, string Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: The aquarium is an artificial aquatic habitat. ( p11 ) Art & Craft: develop skills in drawing and colouring. ( p16 ) Background information for the teacher: This activity looks at an aquarium ecosystem. A small aquarium can be very cheaply set up using a large glass bowl or jaw and guppies or even tadpoles. Larger systems would require an aerator. Consider borrowing an aquarium for the lesson, or setting up a small temporary one. Maintenance of a healthy aquarium ecosystem over a period of time requires time and care. Make sure to provide food and keep the water clean and well aerated. Consult a local pet store for advice. Remember to discuss that wildlife belongs in nature, and should not be removed unless for scientific observation. Activity: Pre-Activity: 1. Prepare the aquarium. 2. Prepare or have the students cut pieces of paper into 15cm x 10cm cards or any other convenient size. Hands-on: SESSION I 1. Have the students observe the ecosystem. 2. Have the students list and discuss the animals, plants and the non-living features (water, stones, air) that they have observed in the aquarium. 3. Divide the students into groups, depending on how many items you have identified, so that in each group one person is assigned to one item in the aquarium. 111
    • 4. Have each student observe their item in the ecosystem, and make drawing of the item on one side of the card. Let students colour the item. 5. One another card, instruct students to clearly write the name of their item. Let them copy this from a list on the blackboard. 6. Have students present their cards to the class. 7. Let each group use the cards to play a game of "Memory". In this version, a pair consists of the picture of the item matched with its name on the second card. This is played by turning all of the cards face down, and each player in turn turning over a pair. If the pair is the same the player can remove and keep the pair. The player with the most pairs wins. 8. Or let the students play "Go Fish" with the cards. Again the object is to make pairs. SESSION II 1. Group the picture cards to classify the items in the ecosystem into living and non-living. Discuss how an ecosystem is made up of both of these. 2. Group the picture cards to classify the living items into animals and plants. 3. Explain how all living things need energy to live and grow. For example, humans need to eat food to get energy. Explain how plants get their energy from the sun, and how some animals get their energy from eating plants. Discuss how the fish or tadpoles feed on the plants (or that the fish food is made from plants). 4. Make a food chain to show this flow of energy from the sun > plants > animals. Punch holes in the cards and attach them together with string to make the chain. 5. Display these food chains as mobiles in the classroom. 6. Discuss how animals and plants are interconnected through feeding relationships. Ideas for Evaluation: Ask students to identify four items found in the aquarium and say whether they are living or non-living. Give each group an additional card of an animal that would be a carnivore in the ecosystem. This could be a bigger fish, a bird, or a person. Ask the students how this animal fits into the ecosystem. Have students extend the food chain to this additional level. Follow-up Activities: Do a similar activity for a coral reef ecosystem after looking at pictures and reading stories about that ecosystem. Have students identify one living component in the aquarium ecosystem and classify it as plant, herbivore, carnivore, or omnivore. 112
    • Mystery Objects Subjects: Science, Art and Craft Aims: To encourage a greater appreciation of nature. Objectives: Students will be able to 1) describe the shape and functions of a variety of natural structures and objects that occur in nature, 2) discuss, identify and draw lines and shapes in nature. Previous knowledge: Common man-made structures have form and function. Key vocabulary: natural, man-made, structure, shape, function Suggested Time: Session 1 – 40 mins Session 2 – 30 mins Materials: variety of natural objects (preferably unfamiliar to the children), pictures of the materials in their natural state, cards with questions, pencils and paper Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Common structures have form and function (p12) Art and Craft: Explore and identify shapes and patterns (p15) Activity: Session 1 1. Ask students to describe a house and draw picture following their instructions. 2. Introduce and explain the term man-made structure 3. Discuss the shape of the structure and why they are shaped that way (the function that they perform) eg. A roof is sloping so that the rain washes off. 4. Explain that structures in nature are also a particular shape for a reason, in order to perform particular functions. 5. Ask students to describe a tree and draw picture following their instructions. 6. Discuss the shape of the structure and why they are shaped that way (the function that they perform) eg. The long thin roots spread out into the soil to collect water to grow. 7. Hold up a mystery object found in nature (eg. a palm tree leaf). Question children: • What shape is it? • What colour is it? • What does it feel like? • What does it look like? • Where do you think it comes from? • What do you think it is? • What function do you think it performs? 8. Explain what the object is to the students and why it is shaped in that particular way (the function it performs) Show a picture of the structure in its natural state. 9. Divide students into groups of 4/5 and give them each mystery object and a card with questions on to answer (eg. flamboyant tree pod, star coral, bamboo root) 10. Circulate around the groups and ask them to discuss the answers within the group 113
    • 11. Ask students from each group to feedback their findings to the rest of the class. 12. Students to take information card out of envelope and read about their mystery object. Explain what each object is to the students and why it is shaped in that particular way (the function it performs). Session 2 1. Students to observe and draw their natural object. Suggested Follow-up Activities 1. Make a 3-dimensional model of the natural objects. 2. Students to collect a range of natural mystery objects and bring them in to school for display. 114
    • Mystery Objects What shape is it? What colour is it? What does it feel like? What does it look like? Where do you think it comes from? What do you think it is? What function do you think it performs?
    • Lessons – Standard 1 Wildlife in ecosystems Subjects: Science, Drama, Language Arts, Art & Craft Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Organisms survive in various habitats. (p17) Language Arts: Sharing information and feelings (p85) Imaginative writing: narratives and descriptions (p113) Art & Craft: Create drawings from specific topics/themes (p21) Habitat Game Subjects: Science, Art and Craft Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Organisms survive in various habitats. (p17) Art & Craft: Create drawings from specific topics/themes (p21) Land conservation Subjects: Science Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Organisms survive in various habitats. (p17) Camouflage as adaptation Subjects: Science, Physical Education, Art &Craft Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Animals protect themselves through camouflage. (p17) Art & Craft: Create drawings from specific topics/themes (p21) Picture maps of the environment Subjects: Social Studies, Science Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Social Science: Describing features of the local environment. (p88) Science: Organisms survive in various habitats. (p17) 115
    • Wildlife in ecosystems Subjects: Science, Drama, Language Arts, Art & Craft Aims: To understand that we need to conserve animal habitats Objectives: Students will be able to 1) differentiate between the diversity of wildlife in a selected ecosystem, 2) act out behaviors of different animals, 3) tell and write a story about an animal’s life 4) Make a poster depicting an animal in its habitat. Previous knowledge: Students should be familiar with the selected ecosystem. Key vocabulary: ecosystem, animal, wildlife Suggested Time: 4 periods Materials: paper, drawing materials Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Organisms survive in various habitats. (p17) Language Arts: Sharing information and feelings (p85) Imaginative writing: narratives and descriptions (p113) Art & Craft: Create drawings from specific topics/themes (p21) Background information for the teacher: This lesson continues to help students explore and learn about the components of natural ecosystems. Activity: 1. Divide the class into groups and assign each group a selected ecosystem (forest, beach, coral reef, grassland, swamp, etc.). 2. Ask each student to choose an animal to present. 3. Let each student research his or her animal as a homework assignment. They should find out: what the animal looks like, what it sounds like, possibly what it eats, possibly what eats it, other information on how it lives. Evaluation: Play a charades game where each student in turn acts out the behaviour of their chosen character, and tells the story of what life is like for that character (what it does every day, where it goes in the forest, who are its enemies, what does it eat). Have students identify the animal and its ecosystem. Have each group make a poster showing the animals they have presented in their ecosystem, with the ecosystem and each animal clearly labeled. Have students write a story entitled "My life as a -----" or "A day in the life of a ----". 116
    • Habitat Game Subjects: Science, Art and Craft Aims: To understand that we need to conserve animal habitats Objectives: Students will be able to 1) identify the different components of habitat for animals in a chosen ecosystem, 2) draw their chosen animal and components of its habitat. Previous knowledge: Students should be familiar with the chosen ecosystem, and with the components of habitat being food, water, space and shelter. Key vocabulary: ecosystem, habitat, animal Suggested Time: 2 periods Materials: paper for cards, drawing materials, scissors Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Organisms survive in various habitats. (p17) Art & Craft: Create drawings from specific topics/themes (p21) Background information for the teacher: An ecosystem should be chosen that the students are already familiar with. This lesson is adapted from an activity in Project WILD 1994. Activity: 1. Divide the class into groups of 2-3 students. 2. Select an ecosystem, and have each group choose an animal from the ecosystem. 3. Review the basic components of an animal’s habitat as food, water, shelter, and space. 4. Have each group research what are the components of their animal’s habitat, and prepare a card that illustrates (a) their animal (b) a component. Each group should therefore produce four cards (food, water, space, and shelter). Each card should be illustrated and labeled. Evaluation: Have groups of students play a game of rummy with the habitat cards. 1. Each group of players will need a complete set of cards for all the animals. Do this by making extra copies of the cards that each group originally designed. 2. The object of the game is for a player to get all four cards for an animal's habitat. 3. Start play by dealing four cards to each player. 4. Place the cards that were not dealt in a pile face down in the middle. 5. Each player may discard 1-3 cards during their play, and pick up the same number of new cards, all from either the new pile or the discard pile. 6. Play progresses around the circle until one player gets a complete set of habitat cards for an animal. 7. Each group can continue playing until all the players in a group have a complete habitat set. This group then wins. 117
    • Make a large poster as a "Habitat Information Chart" to display by pasting on all the cards in a table with the headings as demonstrated below. animal animal 1 animal 2 animal 3 animal 4 food water shelter space 118
    • Land conservation Subjects: Science Aims: To investigate the need for humans to demonstrate care and concern for animals and their homes. Objectives: Students will be able to 1) list some of the values of a forest ecosystem, 2) list some of the human activities that are responsible for deforestation Previous knowledge: Students should know the basic components of a forest ecosystem. Key vocabulary: forest, deforestation, population, pollution, value Suggested Time: 4 periods Materials: newspaper, tape, paper, scissors, colouring materials Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Organisms survive in various habitats. (p17) Background information for the teacher: This lesson develops further ideas of how human activities can negatively impact the land, with particular reference to forests and deforestation. The teacher should take care not to imply that humans should not use the land, but rather should emphasize that people need to be careful about how their activities can have negative effects on the land, the plants, the animals and also on the people themselves. Session I examines the different values that people place on forests. Session II uses four different accounts of how people see forests to examine different perspectives that people have. It is important that students recognize that different people have different perspectives, and that no one is necessarily superior to another. The important lessons from Session III are that planning human activities is important to minimize negative impacts on the environment and that increasing human population size and the resulting increasing activities are having extremely severe negative impacts on the environment. Activity: SESSION I 1. Review the basic living and non-living components of a forest ecosystem. 2. Ask the students to brainstorm why a forest is important. Discuss these together. Try to include consideration of the values listed in the table below. 119
    • Value Examples Goods A forest produces many important goods that people use, for example wood from trees, plants to make baskets from, fruit to eat, animals to eat, medicines from plants (bush tea as well as other medicines that are bought in the pharmacy), etc.. Forests are also important areas for recreation. Services Forests also perform several important ecological services. Very importantly they serve as habitat for a great diversity of animals and plants. These animals and plants may be used by people, for example animals are hunted and fruits are gathered for food. Forests are also important as they help the rain to soak up into the soils so that it does not run off and flood other areas. Forests help to keep an area cool, even having trees near to your house will keep it shady and cool. Spiritual value People also value forests for their aesthetic beauty and spiritual or religious value. In T&T, we have many folklores about the forest, for example about Papa Bois, the guardian of the forest. Thus forests have cultural value also. Intrinsic value People also think that forests are important in their own right, independent of the values that they hold for humans. This is harder to explain, but use the analogy of asking a student why he or she is important. It is not only because they are important to their family or their friends (though they are). It is also because they are important in their own right, even if other people did not think that they were important. In the same way, forests and everything in them are important in their own right. SESSION II 3. Read the following stories from different people’s perspectives. 4. Discuss the ways in which the forest is important to them. 5. Explain that different people have different perspectives, which all are important and need to be considered. 6. Discuss whether some of these activities can be potentially harmful to the forest and how. "My name is Ana. I live in a small house with my family near the forest. My father is a farmer and we kids have to help him in his fields. He plants beans, lettuce, and other vegetables that we sell in the market every Sunday. But we cannot grow enough to sell, so we need more fields to plant. We are going to clear a small piece of forest near our house. We will plant corn, beans, bodi, pawpaw, and bananas there. My father and older brother have been working hard to cut down some of the plants. Next week we are going to light a fire to burn the plants there to make room to grow food. My father also hunts wild animals from the forest for us to eat. My mother collects plants to make medicines for us when we are sick. My brothers and I like to play games in the forest, and pretend that we are explorers. The forest is very important to my family, but we need to clear some of it to plant food." 120
    • "My name is Ravi. My mother loves to watch birds. Nearly every weekend, she goes on long walks with her friends into the forest to look for birds. Sometimes I go along too. I like to look for the tiny insects crawling about on the forest floor. My favourite is when we go to a river or a waterfall to bathe. It's such fun to splash about in the cool water on a hot day. Sometimes I just like to sit quietly by myself on a log. Once I saw a group of people saying prayers by the river. I like to be in the forest because it's such a quiet and peaceful place." "My name is Ken. My grandfather is always telling me fun stories. One of the stories is about Papa Bois. Papa Bois is a man who protects all the animals and plants in the forest. If some bad people come into the forest, Papa Bois will tell them to go away. He is the forest's friend. Sometimes I wonder how Papa Bois can protect the forest when there are so many people who want to cut it down. I saw a big truck driving past my house yesterday, loaded with big logs. When I went into the forest I saw from where the men had taken the logs. They had cut them down with their big saws, then dragged them out with a tractor. I could see where the tractor had passed, because all of the plants were crushed and there were two deep lines in the mud where the wheels had passed. I was sorry that all those small plants had to die just to get that one big tree. I guess that the wood from that tree will be used to build someone a home. That's very important too, but I wish that the birds who lived in that tree did not have to lose their home." "My name is Jane. I love driving in a car or taxi. Even the bus is fun. I like to sit near the window so that I can watch at the things outside as we drive by. I like to look at the people walking at the side of the road and the houses with the pretty flowers in the gardens. I also like it when we drive past the forest. Last week when we drove past the forest I was very sad. I saw where a big fire had burnt the forest at the edge of the road. I asked my big brother what had happened and he told me that someone had probably let a fire burn by mistake. What a terrible mistake! All of the trees were black and their leaves had been burnt off. All of the small plants were gone. I couldn't see any animals, not even a little lizard, or a bird. They had all run away when the fire came. Where will they live now I wonder? Will the forest ever grow back? I don't know." Evaluation: Divide the class into small groups, and have each group draw two pictures, one that shows a way that forests are important to them, and the other a way that human activities are responsible for forests being destroyed. Place these pictures as the leaves of a large tree outlined on the wall. Use pieces of newspaper pasted on the wall to form the trunk and branches of the tree. Have students answer why forests are important to them or ways that human activities are destroying forests by telling a story, drawing a picture, acting a role, or singing a song. 121
    • Follow-up Activities: Put on a play telling the story of why forests are important and how some human activities are destroying forests. Students may be people, animals, plants, or the land (soil, air, and water) when they are telling this story. 122
    • Camouflage as adaptation Subjects: Science, Physical Education, Art &Craft Aims: To understand that animals have evolved to protect themselves through camouflage. Objectives: Students will be able to 1) match an animals camouflage to its environment, 2) identify reasons why camouflage is important to animals that are prey or predators, 3) play a game of catch as predator and prey, 4) draw coral reef environments and their inhabitants. Previous knowledge: Students should be familiar with the animal chosen as examples in this lesson. Key vocabulary: camouflage, predator, prey, habitat Suggested Time: 4 periods Materials: brown paper, newspaper, white or coloured paper, colouring materials, pictures if possible, cloth Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Animals protect themselves through camouflage. (p17) Art & Craft: Create drawings from specific topics/themes (p21) Background information for the teacher: These activities look at camouflage in animals as an adaptation. The teacher should use animals that the students are familiar with. Games are a fun way to facilitate student learning, but the teacher must always conduct a strong and focused wrap-up session to highlight the lessons learnt at the end. Camouflage is the natural colouring of an animal that enables it to blend in with its surroundings. Typically, animals want to blend in with their surroundings to avoid being detected and eaten by their predators. Lizards and iguanas are coloured a dull brown to blend in with the bark of the plants that they live on in order to avoid detection by birds. Others are coloured green to blend in with the leaves. Beetles and many other insects that live in the earth are coloured dark brown to blend in with the soil. Camouflage is not limited to colouration. Grasshoppers are green and have long thin bodies to resemble blades of grass. The stick insect has a brown or green stick-like body to avoid detection. Conversely, predators may also want to avoid being detected by their prey to minimize the chances of the prey escaping. The raptors (birds of prey) like hawks often have a light underbelly. This is so that they blend in with the light sky when viewed from the ground by their prey. Similarly may fish have light underbellies and dark upper surfaces. The shark is a predator that has a light underbelly to avoid being seen by its prey below it as it swims along the surface of the water. Lions and other large cats of the savannas are coloured to blend in with the dry grass as they stalk their prey. Camouflage is an adaptation of an animal to the particular characteristics of its environment. If human activities change the features of the environment the animal may not longer be camouflaged in it. 123
    • Activity: SESSION I 1. Discuss how all living things need food to survive and grow. 2. Discuss what food different animals eat. Discuss how some animals eat plants (herbivores) and other animals eat other animals (carnivores). Some animals are prey in that they are eaten by other animals, which are their predators. 3. Discuss how prey uses camouflage as a means of protection from their enemies, using the example of a lizard on a tree trying to hide from birds. 4. Play a short game of "hide and seek" where the students who are the prey (lizards) can hide from their predators (birds). The "birds" must flap their wings while moving. Discuss how the "lizards" that are hidden the best escape from being caught and "eaten" for the longest time. Discuss how camouflage helps prey to avoid being eaten by their predators. 5. Discuss how predators use camouflage to try to sneak up on their prey. Use the example of a shark whose light underbelly is camouflaged against the light sky and whose dark upper surface is camouflaged against the dark sea bottom so it, so that it can sneak up on its prey from above or below without being detected. 6. Play a short game of "catch" where some students are the shark predators and others are the fish prey. Blindfold some of the fish to simulate them not detecting the presence of the prey as well as the other fish. Discuss how the predators can catch more prey if they can sneak up on them. Discuss why camouflage helps predators to do this. SESSION II 1. Examine how blending in colouration with the environment is a useful camouflage strategy. 2. Prepare a large mosaic of 30 cm x 30 cm squares of: newspaper, brown paper from used bags, and white or any other solid colour paper. These are the different environments. Place then side by side on the ground. 3. Prepare five 2 cm x 2 cm squares of each colour environment: newspaper, brown paper, and white or coloured paper. 4. Without being observed by the students (ask them to close their eyes for example), place the 15 squares randomly over the three environments. 5. Ask the students to stand at least 2 metres away and find the squares. Let the students line up and file past, each student finding one square. 6. Discuss with the class which of the squares were easiest and which were hardest to find, and why. SESSION III 7. Talk about the coral reef environment, and look at pictures. 8. Divide the class into teams to construct a mural of the different environments found in a coral reef: rocks, bare sand, sea grass, and coral. This could be done on Bristol board or smaller sheets of paper pasted on the wall of the classroom. Remember to encourage the use of reused paper. Let students draw and colour each of these backgrounds. 124
    • 9. Ask a team that did NOT prepare the background to design fish that would be camouflaged in one of the environments. Do this for each environment. Students should draw their fish on separate paper, colour them, and cut and paste them into the background environment. Let students name their fish. 10. Discuss as a class what features of the fish (colouration, patterning, shape, etc.) were useful in camouflage in each environment. 11. Discuss how features that camouflaged the fish in one environment did not camouflage it in another. Discuss how animals are adapted to their particular habitats. SESSION IV 12. Discuss how human activity sometimes causes changes in an animal's habitat. For example, pollution may cause death of corals and seaweeds in a marine ecosystem, and fire or cutting can remove green vegetation used by animals for camouflage. 13. Demonstrate this by changing the characteristics of one of the environments used by pasting white paper over the previous background to simulate clearing of coral reefs or aquatic vegetation. 14. Ask students if the fish that were previously camouflaged in the environment now are camouflaged. Discuss how changes in an animals habitat may mean that it is no longer well camouflaged. 15. Discuss how absence of protective camouflage may cause some animals’ populations to decline as either predators are not successful in catching enough food, or prey are not successful in evading predators. 16. Have students identify and discuss some of the ways that human activities are changing habitat and resulting in loss of an animal’s ability to use protective camouflage. Include examples on the impact of fire and cutting in a forest or savanna ecosystem. Evaluation: Prepare cut outs of several fish, of different colours, patterns and shapes. Ask students to correctly place them in the background environments in the mural where they would be camouflaged. Ask students to explain their selection. Ask students which coloured clothing should they use to camouflage themselves in the different areas in the classroom (for example, what colours are the walls, the door, the floor, the blackboard, etc.? After the discussion, have students bring in and wear different coloured clothing as costumes, and ask them to try to camouflage themselves in the environment in the classroom that best matches their clothing. Play games with the squares of paper on the three different background environments. For this, there should be several small and large areas of each environment in a mosaic to make locating the squares more challenging. More squares should be used. One variation could divide the class into three teams and time how long each team takes to find all of their randomly placed squares. The fastest time wins. The teacher or the opposing team may place the squares. Another variation could time how long it takes to find the randomly placed squares versus those that are camouflaged. 125
    • Let students cut out or draw and colour pictures of other prey and their predators. Discuss the habitat of these animals, and show pictures if possible? Are these animals camouflaged in their habitats? Make a "surprise terrarium" containing an animal that is camouflaged in the environment in the terrarium (for example a grasshopper, a stick insect, a moth, a lizard, etc.). Ask the students to find the animal, and discuss how it is camouflaged. 126
    • Picture maps of the environment Subjects: Social Studies, Science Aims: To investigate the need for humans to demonstrate care and concern for animals, plants and their homes. Objectives: Students will be able to 1) describe and draw features of the local environment, 2) identify and name examples of ecosystems 3) describe how human development results in fragmentation of natural habitat. Previous knowledge: Students should know what an ecosystem is and some of the animals that live in a forest. Key vocabulary: ecosystem Suggested Time: 3 periods Materials: paper, drawing, materials, scissors, glue Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Social Science: Describing features of the local environment. (p88) Science: Organisms survive in various habitats. (p17) Background information for the teacher: This activity has students create picture maps to identify ecosystems at different scales and also to look at how human development in an area causes habitat fragmentation. Young children can only interpret area on a very limited scale, so the area chosen to draw the map in Session I should be appropriate to this. Activity: SESSION I 1. Choose a local area, whether it is the school, the neighbourhood around the school, the area near the local park or playground, the village, etc.. 2. Discuss the features of the area, including buildings, roads, trees, grassy areas, etc.. 3. Have students draw and colour these features, and cut them out. 4. Paste the features of the site onto a large piece of paper (reused paper may be suitable) to make a pictorial map. 5. Discuss the map with the students. Ask the to identify different features, and paths to walk from one feature to another. 6. Review what is an ecosystem, that is a system with living plants and animals together with the non-living parts of the environment. 7. Have students identify ecosystems on the map. These may be individual plants, trees, fragments of forest, ponds, gardens, drains, streams, rivers, fields, etc.. 8. Discuss how ecosystems occur at different scales. 9. Discuss what animals could be living in these ecosystems. 127
    • 10. Discuss how these ecosystems occur as isolated ecosystems, separated from others of the same type by intervening environments that are different. 11. Discuss how the intervening ecosystems may not be suitable for the animals and plants in the ecosystem. For example, the road surrounding a field is not a good environment for the grasshoppers that live in the field. SESSION II 1.Develop a pictorial map from the story of how an imaginary village developed where once was forest. Read each item and have students represent it on the map. Call the area Treeland. "Long ago, before people came to live in Treeland, there were only forests." Lay down a large piece of reused paper or green Bristol board to represent Treeland. "Then one day, people built a road through Treeland." Colour in black using a pen or marker a long strip through the board to represent the road. This should divide Treeland into two pieces. "Soon many other people came to live in Treeland and built their houses there. They built their houses along the road." Have students draw, colour and cut out houses and paste them along the road. "These people planted fields and gardens to grow food." Have students draw, colour and cut out pictures representing fields and gardens. Have them paste them on the board and away from the road. "More people cam to live in Treeland and it became a very busy place." Have students add in more houses. When all the space along the main road is taken up, place the remaining houses away from the road. “Soon the people in Treeland needed more roads. They built more roads to go to other places and to the houses, fields and gardens that were far from the main road." Draw in roads connecting these to the main road using a pen or marker. Have the roads extend to the edge of the board. Treeland should now be divided into several pieces. 2.Discuss how the forest was divided into several smaller pieces. Have students identify the areas with remaining forest. 3.Have the students draw, colour and cut out trees. 4.Paste these trees in the areas representing the remaining forest fragments. 5.Discuss what animals might live in these forest fragments. 6.Discuss how human development results in breaking up or fragmenting the habitat of animals and plants. Discuss how this means that animals and plants will have less space to live in, and how they may become separated from other animals and plants as crossing the roads may be dangerous for them. Use the analogy of a neighbourhood as the habitat. Have students imagine that bulldozers cleared tracks through the neighbourhood, crashing through some people’s homes. These people would have to try and live with their friends in their house. It would be very crowded. Also, the people would not be able to easily cross the tracks without being in danger of being run over by a bulldozer. 7.Review how human development can cause problems for animal and plant populations because of habitat fragmentation. 128
    • Evaluation: Have students give two examples of ecosystems. Ask students to identify where in the picture map from Session II some animals and plants are found. For example use deer, snakes, trees, lizards, ants, dogs, cats, ants, iguana, frogs, birds, others. Some will be found in houses with humans, in fields and gardens, in forests, or in several of these. Students could draw, colour and cut these out and then paste them on the map. This will show how the habitat of the animals has been fragmented by the human development. Have the students create a pictorial map of their home. Have them mark the location of any plants. Discuss what could be living in these miniature ecosystems. 129
    • Lessons – Standard 2 Animals and their young Subjects: Science, Language Arts, Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Adults have young, which grow into adults, which in turn produce young. (p22) Language Arts: Reading comprehension (p105) Food Chains Subjects: Science Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Animals feed on organisms (p23) Predator –prey game Subjects: Science, Physical Education, Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Animals feed on organisms (p23) Pour – a – pond Subjects: Science, Art and Craft Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Ponds are habitats for aquatic life (p24) Art and Craft: Organise and illustrate clear ideas and information (p27) Needs of plants Subjects: Science Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Certain conditions are necessary for proper plant growth. (p22) Stories about wildlife Subjects: Social Science, Language Arts Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Social Science: The natural environment (p114) Language Arts: Reading comprehension: understand narrative and informational text (p105) Senses in ecosystems Subjects: Drama, Social Science Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Social Science: The natural environment (p114) 130
    • Animals and their young Subjects: Science , Language Arts, Aims: To introduce students to the concept of sustainable hunting Objectives: Students will be able to 1) identify the reproductive strategies of different animals, 2) read a text and describe some of the implications that different reproductive strategies have for conservation. Previous knowledge: Students should be able to distinguish between different animals. Key vocabulary: animal, young , reproduction Suggested Time: 4 periods Materials: pictures of animals, large sheet of paper, drawing materials, string , sticks Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Adults have young, which grow into adults, which in turn produce young. (p22) Language Arts: Reading comprehension (p105) Background information for the teacher: This activity looks at the different reproductive strategies in animals and highlights how these may have important implications for their conservation. For example, if deer only produce very few young each year, it is important that these young be allowed to survive. Hunting regulations for animals such as these therefore must prohibit the killing of young and the females that care for them during the weaning period. For animals that produce many young, few of which survive to adulthood, the more sensitive life stage in need of protection is the adult. Since very many young are produced, if many young die it is not a disaster. For example, the leatherback turtle lays hundreds of eggs on a nesting beach every few years. Most of the hatchlings from these eggs never make it to adulthood. The adult females have in the past been severely poached on the nesting beaches, or on leaving the nesting beaches are sometimes trapped in fishermen’s lines and nets and die. Poaching has been effectively reduced due to collaborative efforts between the government (Wildlife Section, Forestry Division) and grassroots organizations in the villages near the nesting beaches (in Matura, Fishing Pond and Grande Riviere). The death of the adult females could seriously reduce the growth of the turtle population, as sea turtles nest repeatedly over their lifetime. It is important here to use animals which students are familiar with. Some examples are given in this lesson, but the same activity can work for any animals selected. Activity: SESSION I 1. Discuss how animals reproduce either by live birth or by producing eggs from which young later hatch. Discuss how young from live birth resemble their parents, while eggs do not resemble the parents. 131
    • 2. Create a large class chart on Bristol board or on the blackboard. Use the examples in the chart, and any others which students will be familiar with, to illustrate these principles. Pictures or key words can be used to fill in the chart. For example, with the word eggs or a drawing of eggs can be used. animal produces young from eggs or young resemble parents live birth or not leatherback turtles eggs no ocelots live birth yes humans live birth yes birds eggs no deer live birth yes frogs or alligators eggs no fish eggs no bees, ants, termites eggs No SESSION II 1.Discuss how animals produce different numbers of young. Some animals produce very few young and invest a lot of time and energy in their care. Other animals produce very many young and invest very little in caring for them. 2.Use the examples in the chart, and any others which students will be familiar with, to illustrate these principles. animal produce many young or few parents take care of at one time young or not leatherback turtles Many parents do not take care of young ocelots usually 2 young parents take care of young, they are blind at birth humans usually only one, rarely few parents spend a lot of time for many years taking care of young birds few parents take care of young until they can fly deer one or few parents take care of young
    • frogs or alligators many parents do not take care of young fish many parents do not take care of young bees, ants, termites many colony takes care of young SESSION III 1.Read the following stories as an introduction to a discussion about how different reproductive strategies of animals may have important implications for their conservation, as it determines which is the more sensitive life stage in need of protection and management. In the case of the frog, the adult stage is the more sensitive stage as it uses a fast-reproducing strategy. In the case of the deer, the juvenile stage is the more sensitive stage as it uses a slow-reproducing strategy. Use questions like those suggested at the end of the passage and any others needed to guide the discussion. Imagine a small pond deep in the middle of the forest. In this pond, there lived six frogs. Every year, the mother frogs would lay many eggs into the water and the father frogs would fertilize the eggs to make sure they would grow into tadpoles. After some time, tadpoles would hatch from the eggs and swim around in the pond, slowly growing larger, losing their tail and growing legs as they changed into adult frogs. The mother and father frogs did not take care of the tadpoles, but they were left on their own to swim around, find food, and hide from the fish that loved to eat them. Some of the tadpoles will never survive to be mother and father frogs themselves. One day, a little girl who loved to collect frogs came to the pond. She wanted to collect some of the frogs to take to the pond in her garden. The girl wanted to make sure that there would be frogs in the pond in the future, and enough mother and father frogs to make new tadpoles. She could not decide if she should collect adult frogs or collect tadpoles. Can you help the little girl make her decision? Guiding questions What are baby frogs called? Do baby frogs come from eggs that are laid or are they born alive? What do tadpoles look like? What do adult frogs look like? Pretend that you are a tadpole, show how they swim in the water. Pretend that you are an adult frog, show how they jump on the land. Does the mother frog lay many eggs or just a few? Does the mother and father frog take care of their tadpoles and protect them from harm? Will all the tadpoles survive to become adult frogs? What will happen if the little girl collects all six adult frogs from the pond? Will any adult frogs be left? What will happen the next season when frogs should be laying eggs? What will happen if the little girl collects six tadpoles from the pond? 133
    • Will tadpoles still be left? Will adults be left to make sure that eggs are laid and a new batch of tadpoles will be born? Do you think that the little girl should collect six adults or six tadpoles? Why? One of the favourite animals for hunters is the shy red brocket deer found in the forests. Deer meat is delicious to eat. Deer are like humans, they usually only give birth to one baby in a year. The young deer are called fawns. They look just like their parents when they are born, but are very weak and cannot take care of themselves. The mother deer takes good care of the fawn until it is old enough to survive on its own. The next year the mother may have another baby fawn. A group of hunters is out hunting one day in the forest. They come across a mother deer with her fawn. Should kill the mother or the fawn? Should they keep looking for an adult deer with no young? Guiding questions What are baby deer called? Do fawns come from eggs or are they born alive? Do fawns look like their parents when they are born? Can fawns take care of themselves when they are young? What will happen to the fawn if it's mother is not around to take care of it? What will happen if the fawn dies or is killed? Will the mother deer have any more young that year? What will happen to a fawn if hunters kill its mother? Should hunters look for mother deer, fawns, or single adult deer when they are hunting? Why? Evaluation: Have students identify two animals that produce young from eggs and two that give live birth. Have students describe one example of an animal that cares for its young and one that does not. Have students explain why hunters do not hunt fawns, but prefer to hunt adult males. Follow-up Activities: Have a field trip to the zoo to look at the different animals. Ask the curators for a presentation focused specifically on animals and their young. Have the students work in teams to make mobiles of some of the animals discussed. 134
    • 1. Use 2 sticks tied in a cross with string. Let this be the base. 2. Have a student draw or trace and colour a picture of the adult animal. Or use a picture from an old newspaper or magazine. Cut out the animal. 3. If the animal lays eggs, have some students make some eggs in the same way as above. 4. Have other students make the young. If the animal produces few young, the make few and if it produces many, then make many. 5. If the animal takes care of its young have a student make a picture of the parent(s) and the young together. 6. Punch a small hole at the top of each piece and tie it to the base with string. 7. Display the mobiles in the classroom. 8. Have each group present its mobile to the rest of the class, explaining what the different pieces signify. 135
    • Food Chains Subjects: Science Aims: To understand that animals and plants are linked in an ecosystem through feeding relationships. Objectives: Students will be able to 1) identify plants, herbivores and carnivores, 2) construct simple food chains showing feeding relationships in an ecosystem Previous knowledge: Students should be familiar with different animals and plants in chosen ecosystem Key vocabulary: animal, plant, energy, food chain, carnivore, herbivore, omnivore, Suggested Time: 2 periods Materials: drawing materials or pictures of animals and plants, (for example from the newspaper), paper for cards, string Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Animals feed on organisms (p23) Background information for the teacher: Students already have been exposed to the idea that animals and plants are linked in an ecosystem through their feeding relationships. This lesson asks students to construct food chains for selected ecosystems. Examples of ecosystems are given below, but any ecosystems that the students are already familiar with may be used. The terms herbivore, carnivore and omnivore may be used if suitable, or alternately students can use plant-eater, animal-eater and plant/animal- eater. Activity: 1. Choose several examples of ecosystems: an aquarium, a beach, a forest, a savanna, and a city. 2. Divide the class into groups, one for each ecosystem. 3. For each ecosystem, review the animals and plants that are typically found in the ecosystem. Make lists on the board for each ecosystem. 4. Let each group draw the plants and animals in the ecosystems each on separate cards, and write the name of the animal or plant below the drawing. 5. Let the students write “plant” on the other side of the cards of all the plants. 6. Give the students operational definitions for plant-eaters (herbivores) and animal-eaters (carnivores). 7. Classify the animals into two groups representing plant-eaters and animal-eaters. 8. Let the students write “plant-eater” or “animal-eater” on the other side of the cards of all the plants. 9. Choose a plant from an ecosystem. 10. Ask the students to identify a plant-eater that feeds on it. 11. Ask the students to identify an animal-eater that feeds on the plant-eater. 136
    • 12. Punch holes in these cards and have students tie them together with string. Explain that this represents a food chain. 13. Construct other simple food chains for each ecosystem. Remember that each food chain should have no more that 4-5 links in it (because of the reduction in the amount of energy available to each level in the food chain). 14. Use these food chains in the classroom as mobiles. Evaluation: Shuffle cards for an ecosystem and ask students to reconstruct 3 food chains. Give students pictures of plants and animals from an ecosystem that was not discussed and ask them to try and identify 3 food chains. Follow-up Activities: Construct food chains where humans are the top carnivores. 1.List on the board several common items that students have for lunch in a row. 2.Above each of these, write the name of the student who suggested it. 3.Draw an arrow from the food to the student. 4.For each food item, trace the animal or plant from which it came. 5.Write the name of this below the food, and draw an arrow from the animal or plant to the food. Trace the pathways back all the way to the plants at the base of the food chain. 137
    • Living organisms depend on each other for life. This dependence is referred to as The Food Chain A Rainforest Food Chain tertiary consumer eats small animals carnivore secondary consumer eats insects carnivore primary consumer eats plants herbivore primary producer absorbs sunlight to grow plant sunlight
    • Living organisms depend on each other for life. This dependence is referred to as The Food Chain A Marine Food Chain tertiary consumer eats fish carnivore secondary consumer eats coral carnivore primary consumer eats plankton omnivore primary producer uses light to make food plankton sunlight
    • Living organisms depend on each other for life. This dependence is referred to as The Food Chain A Mangrove Food Chain tertiary consumer eats fish carnivore secondary consumer eats shrimp carnivore primary consumer eats plankton carnivore primary producer uses light to make food plankton sunlight
    • Predator –prey game Subjects: Science, Physical Education, Aims: To understand that animals and plants are linked in an ecosystem through feeding relationships. Objectives: Students will be able to 1) describe the predator-prey relationship, 2) play a game in which some students are predators and some students are prey Previous knowledge: Students should know that some animals feed on other animals and what are the basic components of a habitat. Key vocabulary: ecosystem, animal, herbivore, carnivore, food chain, predator, prey Suggested Time: 3 periods Materials: chalk, stones, red shirts for 1/5 of the class, small cards cur out of newspaper for 4/5 of the class Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Animals feed on organisms (p23) Background information for the teacher: At the end of the activity, the teacher should review the principles demonstrated by the game. It is adapted from “Quick Frozen Critters” in Project WILD 1994. Activity: 1. Review food chains, and define a predator and a prey. 2. Select a pair of animals, one a predator of the other its prey. For example, select an ocelot and an agouti, a shark and a fish, a hawk and a mouse. 3. Assign about one-fifth of the class to be the predators and the rest to be the prey. Clearly identify the predators with markings (for example a red shirt). 4. Review the basic components of habitat: food, water, shelter, and space. 5. In a large playing area, draw a large circle at one end that represents the shelter of the prey. 6. At the other end, draw a large circle that represents the food source for the prey. 7. Draw 5 chalk circles in the middle open area to represent additional shelter for the prey. 8. Collect three times the number of stones as there are prey. Let these represent the food. 9. Place the food in the food source circle. Object of the game: The aim of the prey is to collect food stones. They need three food stones to survive. The aim of the predators is to catch prey. Only a prey that is moving can be caught. They need two prey to survive. 138
    • Rules of the game: Prey can only collect one food stone at a time, then must return to the shelter circle to deposit it. The predators try and catch the prey when they are on their journey through the open area. If a prey is caught, it must give the predator its newspaper card. A prey cannot be caught when at least one foot is in a shelter circle. A prey cannot be caught if it "freezes" (remains motionless without talking). A prey can remain frozen for any length of time, but remember prey need to get food in order to survive. Players may run, or have them mimic the movement of the animal they are playing. 10. At the start of the round the prey should be in the shelter circle, and the predators should be in the open area. 11. Play each round for 5-7 minutes. At the end of each round the prey and predators who have not gotten enough food die, and must leave the game. Evaluation: Play five rounds, allowing each student to be both prey and predator. Discuss how prey actually avoid being caught by predators by taking shelter and by freezing so that the predators do not see them. Discuss what would happen if all the shelters of the prey were removed. Discuss how habitat destruction due to human activities may cause prey to loose their shelter, and thus become more vulnerable to predators. Follow-up Activities: Have students research the predator and prey chosen for this activity, and make posters to display what they learnt. Include researching any ways that human activities may be threatening the habitat. 139
    • Pour – a – pond Subjects: Science, Art and craft Aims: A greater understanding and appreciation of a pond ecosystem and the life it supports. Objectives: Students will be able to 1) identify and observe aquatic life found in ponds, 2) describe how they are adapted to their habitat, 3) create their own pond monster. Previous knowledge: Concept of an eco-system Key vocabulary: habitat, insect, fish, amphibian, plant, crustacean Suggested Time: Session 1 – 15 mins Session 2 – 30 mins Session 3 – 30 mins Materials: Large covered box to collect pond water, small buckets for dipping, magnifying glasses, small containers for observing, pond monster, identification books or sheets, animal classification posters, interview sheet, create a pond monster sheet Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Ponds are habitats for aquatic life (p24) Art and Craft: Organise and illustrate clear ideas and information (p27) Background Information for teachers: Environment Tobago has a range of animal classification posters that can be borrowed. The Standard III lesson entitled “Sources, effects and reduction of marine pollution” can be adapted to address pollution issues in ponds. A useful teacher resource for this topic is “Wondrous West Indian Wetlands Teachers’ Resource Book.” Every school in Tobago has received a copy. Activity: SESSION 1 1. On the morning of the class, collect specimens from a pond and place in a large container. If you scoop up some aquatic vegetation, you should get a good variety of small aquatic animals. 2. Ask students where they live? Draw a picture of a house. What do you find in houses? Draw these items in the house. 3. Discuss how this is the “ home environment” for people because it provides shelter, food, space and water. 4. Discuss how habitat means “home environment” and that different animals live in different habitats. Give example. 5. Ask students to name some habitats found in Tobago SESSION 2 1. Introduce a pond as a natural habitat found in Tobago and ask students what kind of animals they think they would find in a pond. Look at posters to classify insects, amphibians and fish 140
    • 2. Split class into groups of about 6-8 students. Give each group a large flat bottom tray, magnifying glasses, small bucket, and a selection in small containers. 3. One student from each group is selected to dip the small bucket into the large container and pour it into their tray. 4. Children to examine tray to see what creatures it holds and try to identify using poster, books and sheets 5. Individual creatures can be placed in small containers and closely examined through magnifying glasses 6. Children choose an animal and conduct pond water interview SESSION 3 1. Students to create their own pond monster. Decide whether they are going to create a fish, insect or amphibian. 2. Students will need to think about what features their pond monster will have in order to adapt to it’s habitat 3. Draw a labeled diagram of their pond monster Follow-up activities 1. Collect animals from a man-made pond and compare to those found in a natural habitat. 2. Create a collage of a pond habitat 3. Explore the relationships between the animals and plants that form an eco-system (food chains and food webs) 141
    • Interview with a Pond Monster What are you? What family do you belong to? Where do you live? What do you eat? What colour are you? How do you move about? Do you have legs, wings or fins? May I draw you? Some words which may help you crab crayfish beetle dragonfly nymph snail fish crustacean insect pond swim crawl
    • Needs of plants Subjects: Science Aims: Develop an understanding that seeds need certain conditions to grow properly and that human action can impact on this. Objectives: Students will be able to 1) conduct an experiment to demonstrate the importance of light and water for plant growth, 2) make deductions from observations of an experiment, 3) describe how some human activities are depriving plants of light and water. Previous knowledge: Students should be able to make observations and take measurements of plants. Key vocabulary: plant, pollution Suggested Time: 2 periods Materials: eight small plants, water, newspaper, chalk dust or soot Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Certain conditions are necessary for proper plant growth. (p22) Background information for the teacher: In the Plant Growth lesson students conducted simple experiments to examine the importance of light and water for plant growth, and to look at the effect of pollution. This experiment builds on that one. It is important to emphasize the linkage between human activities and the health of natural ecosystems. Activity: Pre-Activity: Obtain eight small plants, of approximately the same size. Hands-on: 1. Place the plants next to each other in an airy well-lit environment. 2. Divide the class into groups. 3. Have each group make observations of their plant, and record the number of leaves and the height of the main stem. 4. Have each group draw a picture of their plant. 5. Review how plants need air, water, food, and light to live and grow. 6. Set up experiments to demonstrate this, using the 4 pairs of plants under the conditions given in the table below. Label each plant with the name of the group and the conditions. 142
    • Pair 1 Control: Leave as was, watering as usual. Pair 2 Test for the importance of light: Use newspapers to construct a loose shade to be placed over each plant, allowing air to pass in at the bottom and watering as usual. Pair 3 Test for the effect of particulate air pollution (dust or soot): Gently dust powder or flour over the surface of the leaves until it covers most of the leaf surface. Water as usual. Pair 4 Test for the importance of water: Leave as was, but do not water. 7. Leave these plants for 1-2 weeks. 8. At the end of this time, have the students make observations of their plant to compare the growth of the pairs of seedlings grown under the different conditions. They should record their observations, and again draw the plant. 9. Discuss the observations, and how they show the importance of light and water for growth of the plant. 10. Discuss how particulate air pollution produces from dust, soot from burning, factories, quarries and other sources can smother the surfaces of leaves and hamper plant growth. Discuss why it is important to minimize this type of pollution. 11. Discuss how a lack of water hampers plant growth. Explain how clearing of forests means that rain runs quickly off the land in a flood, instead of seeping into the soil. Demonstrate this idea simply by pouring water onto a sponge on the floor and discussing how the sponge holds in the water, just like a forest would. Then pour water onto the floor without the sponge and discuss how the water quickly runs off. Explain how some human activities are clearing large areas of forests, which means that there is less water for plants, animals, and people. Diverting water from rivers and streams for agriculture and domestic water reduces the amount of water available to the natural ecosystems. Ideas for Evaluation: Have the students fill in a table comparing the plant before and after the experiment. They should list the changes that occurred in the plant. Have students make a list of some human activities that reduce light and water available to plants. Follow-up Activities: Visit a nearby quarry or a deforested area to observe the effects they are having on the surrounding plants in the ecosystem. Set up additional experiments to look at the effects of changes in environmental factors on plants, that: (a) describe the changes which take place in seedlings placed in a closed box with light entering through a hole on one side of the box; (b) demonstrate and describe the effect of the presence or absence of water on seeds; and (c) state differences observed in seedlings that were watered once per day and others that were watered twice per week. 143
    • Stories about wildlife Subjects: Social Science, Language Arts Aims: To recognize the interdependence of animal life and the environment. Objectives: Students will be able to answer questions on a comprehension passage about some of the components of forest, beach and swamp ecosystems. Previous knowledge: Students should know what an ecosystem is. Key vocabulary: ecosystem Suggested Time: 3 periods Materials: Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Social Science: The natural environment (p114) Language Arts: Reading comprehension: understand narrative and informational text (p105) Background information for the teacher: These three stories about wildlife in different ecosystems in T&T can be used as a comprehension exercise. Activity: 1.Read the following stories to the students about wildlife in different ecosystems in T&T. A morning in the swamp Watch out little fish, you're in my way. It's morning and I want to swim up the river to see what delicious plants I can eat for my breakfast. I am a manatee, and I am the biggest wild animal in Trinidad. I live in the rivers and swamps. Some people call me a sea cow because I like to eat plants just like a cow. I eat lots and lots of plants every day, because I'm very big and I need lots of food. Here are my favourites, they are plants that float on the water so that I can nibble at them while I float at the surface of the water. I can also use my flippers to hold the plants that I'm eating close to my mouth so they don't float away. The sun on my back feels so warm after the cool water. Hey what's that I hear? It's those noisy parrots again. They make so much noise squawking that I can even hear them if I duck my head under the water. Oh no, they woke up the howler monkeys and now they are howling away. Monkeys are like people in that they live in big families. These families are called troops. There may be as many as twelve monkeys in a troop. We manatees don't live in big families, but I stayed close to my mother until I was big enough to be on my own. It sounds like all the animals want their breakfast. Parrots and monkeys both like to eat the fruit on the trees. So do I if it is hanging over the edge of the river and I can reach it if I poke my head out of the water. There's a branch with juicy leaves that I can just about reach. Hey look, there's a spider on his web. I guess this spider is hoping to catch some insects that are flying over the water and in between the plants. There are lots of insects everywhere... mosquitoes, butterflies, dragonflies and ants crawling on the trees. I can hear them buzzing past my head as I float quietly. 144
    • What's that I hear? It's some fishermen at the side of the river. I don't want them to see me so I'm going to hold my breath and go under the dark water so they can't see me. It is quiet under the water, and I can see many fish swimming lazily by my head. They had better watch out for the caimans. Do you know what caimans are? They are small alligators that are also found in the rivers and swamps. Caimans also like to float on the surface of the water to warm up. Sometimes they even climb out onto the banks of the river to warm up in the sun. I'm too fat to climb out of the water, and besides, I don't have any feet! I do have a big tail and two flippers that I use for swimming. I can't hold my breath anymore so I'm going to quietly let just the tip of my nose peek out of the water to breathe. Maybe the people won't see my tiny nose. I can see an osprey soaring high in the sky above my head. People and caiman are not the only animals that like to eat fish, so do ospreys. Ospreys are big birds that fly high in the shy, then swoop down and grab a fish out of the water and carry it away in their sharp claws. Those fish sure do need to watch out today. Well, it looks like those fishermen are going to stay for a while so I think I'm going to swim away. Even though I'm big and fat, I am a very good swimmer. I love to roll around in the cool water. I wonder what else is going on in the swamp today. Busy at the beach It's another sunny day at the beach. The waves are crashing on to the shore and a warm breeze is blowing the sand across my path. I move carefully sideways towards my hole. I am a crab and I can only walk sideways. I have eight legs, four on each side of my flat body. Sometimes there is tar on the beach and I don't like that at all. I need to look and see where I am walking. My eyes stick out above my shell so that I have a very good view all around me. I can see the corbeaus at the edge of the water feeding on a big dead fish that washed up last night. I think that I am going to hide in my hole while they are around. My cozy hole is just next to a big coconut tree. There are hardly any plants growing near to the beach because of the wind that blows salty water onto them. Most plants don't like this, but coconut trees can grow just fine. Did you know that corbeaus also eat baby turtles? In fact, so do I sometimes. Many other animals like to eat the baby turtles. Stray dogs on the beach are even good at digging up the nests. Turtles are like birds, they hatch from eggs. But their eggs have soft shells and are in nests under the sand. The mother turtles crawl out of the water at night onto the beach. They dig a deep hole then lay lots of the eggs in the hole. They cover up the hole carefully. It's very tiring work and finally they go back to the water and swim away. They don't take care of their babies like birds and people do. Many days later, the baby turtles hatch out of their eggs and dig their way to the top of the sand. They need to crawl to the sea quickly, because animals like me like to eat them. There are so many that some escape to the sea and swim away. One day some of them may come back to this same beach to lay their own eggs. 145
    • There are also lots of fish in the sea. Fishermen sometimes pass in their boats with nets or lines trying to catch the fish. They are good to eat. Sometimes lots of people from the nearby village come to the beach with a big net called a seine. They all pull the net together and catch fish for everyone to share. I stay out of the way then, because I don't want to get stepped on by mistake. The people used to catch many fish, but now they don't catch as many. I wonder why? The cool forest I am an ant. I live together with other ants in a big underground nest. I am a worker ant and my job every day is to go and collect leaves and bring them back to the nest. We workers are very busy all day, marching to and from our nest with leaves. We make a long line as we walk. Have you ever seen our line of ants? We are small, but our friends the soldier ants protect us and protect the nest. They are big and have sharp pincers to bite with. Our nest has a queen. Her job is to lay eggs for new ants to be born. In the ant nest, we all work together but we each have our own jobs. We are like one big family. On my walks through the forest I often see wonderful things. The huge trees stand tall above us. Their leaves shade the forest from the hot sun, so underneath the trees it is shady and very cool. When it rains the leaves catch the heavy drops, and the water slowly trickles down the branches and leaves. When it is raining the birds in the forest take shelter under the leaves and are quiet. When the rain stops and the sun comes out they start to sing again. What a racket they make. Can you hear them? I can, but I can't see them. They are in the trees somewhere I know. I can see that snake curled around that low branch. He is sleeping. There are vines climbing up the trunk of the tree he is in, look at how they wind around the trunk. What a clever way to grow isn't it? My favourites are the small plants that grow on the ground under the trees. Their green leaves are best for us ants. The deer also like to nibble on these soft juicy leaves. I sometimes see the deer quietly walking through the forest, but they are very shy and run away at the smallest noise. We ants are not so shy, and go about our busy work no matter what else is going on in the forest that day. Evaluation: Have students answer the following comprehension questions. Where do manatees live? What do manatees eat? What are three animals that live in a swamp? Where do coconut trees grow? What animals eat baby turtles? Where do the ants carry the leaves? What is the job of soldier ants? 146
    • Senses in ecosystems Subjects: Drama, Social Science Aims: To recognize the interdependence of animal life and the environment. Objectives: Students will be able to identify an ecosystem from a dramatized presentation of the components of the ecosystem. Previous knowledge: Students should know that ecosystems have abiotic (non-living) and biotic (living) components and be familiar with components of a tropical forest eco-system. Key vocabulary: eco system, abiotic, biotic Suggested Time: 2 periods Materials: Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Social Science: The natural environment (p114) Background information for the teacher: This activity illustrates the use of senses to explore the components of an ecosystem. Activity: 1. Read the following passage to get students to think creatively about the biotic and abiotic components of an ecosystem using their different senses. 2. Discuss with the students the different clues that tell them that they went into a tropical forest. Discuss both the abiotic environment, and the living things. Trip in our imagination We are going to take a trip together in our imagination. To take this trip in your imagination, you need to close your eyes and sit very quietly. As you sit quietly, keep your eyes closed and listen to the story that I read about our trip. Picture where we are and what we are doing in your imagination. It is easy. Let's start our trip. We are walking and it is very hot. I can feel the hot sun shining down on my skin. Can you feel it? As we walk, I can hear our feet swishing through the grass. We keep walking and suddenly, I feel cooler. Even though my eyes are closed, I can tell that this place we are now is shady, I can't feel the hot sun on my skin anymore. I can hear squishing as we walk. I think that we are walking through some mud. Whoops, I think that you just stepped into a puddle. Stand quietly for a moment. I can hear water flowing. There must be a stream nearby. This place smells fresh, like cut grass or ripe fruit. 147
    • I can hear a bird calling. Can you hear it? Cheep, cheep, cheep. It sounds like it is somewhere above my head. Now that we are quiet I can hear all kinds of different sounds. I can hear mosquitoes buzzing around my head. I can hear other birds, I think that was just a parrot squawking. Far away I can hear a troop of howler monkeys. The howling noise that they make sounds spooky doesn't it? I think it's getting to be time for us to return from our trip. Let's go back to our classroom in our imagination. We have to walk out of the cool wet place where there are so many animals. Now we are back where the sun is shining and I can feel a breeze on my skin. When you are ready, slowly open your eyes. Wasn't that a fun trip? Where do you think we went? 3. Divide the class into teams. 4. Each team chooses an ecosystem and gives the rest of the class clues about which ecosystem it is, using their different senses. The children can act out things that they see, hear, smell, or feel. 5. The rest of the class has to guess what ecosystem they are describing. Use the following steps to help the students think of what their senses would tell them about the ecosystem. 6. Ask students to imagine they are an ecosystem, but are blind, cannot smell and cannot feel. Let them describe what the forest sounds like. 7. Ask students to imagine they are in the ecosystem, but can only smell. Let them describe what the forest smells like. 8. Ask students to imagine that they are in the ecosystem, but are blind and can only walk around touching the things in the forest. Let them describe what it feels like. 9. Finally, ask students to imagine they are in the ecosystem and can see. Let them describe what it looks like. Evaluation: Give the students a few descriptions that they used during the lesson and have them identify the ecosystem being described. Have students write a story, poem, or song about an ecosystem that they choose. They must include information about the ecosystem gained by using all of their senses. Follow-up Activities: Take a field trip to an ecosystem, even if it is just a nearby field or under a tree in the garden, and have students use each of their senses in turn to study the ecosystem. 148
    • Lessons – Standard 3 Animal movements Subjects: Science, Physical Education, Drama Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Certain structural features of animals enable movement on land, air and water. (p30) Weave a Food Web Subjects: Science, Art and Craft, Drama Conceptual Knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Food chains are interconnected in an eco-system. (p30) The sea is a natural habitat for marine life. (p 31) Art and Craft: Decorative craft (p33) Sources, effects and reduction of marine pollution Subjects: Science, Social Studies Conceptual Knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Various forms of pollutants affect marine life (p31) Social Science: Environmental concerns which are the result of the exploitation of some natural resources. (p157) Suggest ways of alleviating some of the environmental concerns. (p157) Natural resources Subjects: Social Studies Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Social Studies: Sustainability (p154) 149
    • Animal movements Subjects: Science, Physical Education, Drama Aim: To have a greater understanding of animal life. Objectives: Students will be able to 1) demonstrate the movements of different animals, 2) demonstrate co-ordination and co-operation skills. Previous knowledge: Students should be familiar with the different animals used in the lesson. Key vocabulary: animal Suggested Time: 2 periods Materials: elastic band Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Certain structural features of animals enable movement on land, air and water. (p30) Background information for the teacher: This game is important to teach coordination, cooperation and following oral instructions. Activity: 1. Play a game of Simon Says to mimic the movements of animals. Use animals that have been discussed and others that are familiar to the students. For example: a bird or butterfly flaps its wings; a snake or worm wriggles its body; a frog or rabbit jumps on its hind legs; a turtle or caiman crawls; a deer or agouti walks on four legs; a manatee uses its powerful tail to swim and its front flippers to hold its food to its mouth. 2. First demonstrate the movement then have students mimic it. 3. Also look at those animals that have more than four legs. Join students into groups to make up the correct number of legs, and join together their legs with elastic. Have races between teams. Animal Number of Number of Movement legs students crab or 8 4 Stand the students in a line hugging the person spider in front. Use the front person's arms as the sensory antennae (feelers). Remember to walk sideways. ant or 6 3 As above but walk forward. cockroach millipede or hundreds all Let all the students in the class join together in centipede a long train for this. Remember that a millipede does not walk in a straight line, so let the train flow a winding path. 150
    • Evaluation: Play a game of charades. The leader should act out the movements of an animal, and the students should try to guess the name of the animal. Play a Simon Says game to test the students on associating different movements with specific animals. The leader should give the name of an animal and the students should then do the action of that animal. 151
    • Weave a Food Web Subjects: Science, Art and Craft, Drama Aims: A greater understanding and appreciation of a coral reef ecosystem and the life it supports. Objectives: Students will be able to explain the food/energy relationship within, and construct a food web in a coral reef habitat, 2) make masks to represent inhabitants of a coral reef, 3) dramatise the movements of coral reef inhabitants. Previous knowledge: What a food chain is. Wildlife and plants found in a marine habitat Key vocabulary: food chain, food web, energy Suggested Time: Session 1 – 30 mins Session 2 - 30 mins Session 3 – 40 mins Materials: card, colouring pencils, string, picture of a coral reef habitat, pictures of all the sea creatures in the food web Conceptual Knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Food chains are interconnected in an eco-system. (p30) The sea is a natural habitat for marine life. (p 31) Art and Craft: Decorative craft (p33) Activity: SESSION 1 3. Ask students what type of animals and plants live in the sea. Explain that in Tobago a lot of the sea life lives in and around coral reef habitats, feeding off each other. 4. Re-cap with students on what a food chain is and ask them to give some examples of a food chain that might occur in a coral reef habitat. Eg. jellyfish ⇒ sea turtle ⇒ shark 5. Explain that animals, like humans, need to eat to get energy and in a food chain energy moves from animal to animal. 6. Food chains tell us about one feeding relationship, but in a coral reef habitat, there are many feeding relationships that are connected together to form a food web. 7. Draw a food web on the board. Show children pictures of each plant/animal and explain unfamiliar life forms to them. 8. Explain that all food webs start with the sun. The phytoplankton gets its energy from the sun; the jellyfish gets its energy by eating the phytoplankton etc. Most animals eat more than one thing. The transfer of energy through food between plants and animals is called a food web. 152
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    • Sources, effects and reduction of marine pollution Subjects: Science, Social Studies Aims: Increase awareness of water pollution issues and ways in which it can be reduced Objectives: Students will be able to 1) identify pollutants, which adversely affect marine life, 2) suggest ways of reducing pollution. Previous knowledge: Students should know about marine eco-systems. Key vocabulary: pollution, pesticides, fertilizers, detergents, organic waste, petroleum products, sediments Suggested Time: Session 1 – 30 mins Session 2 – 40 mins Session 3 – 20 mins Materials: Wondrous West Indian Wetlands Teacher Resource Book, plank of wood, small brick, watering can, powdered food colouring, soil, coloured card Conceptual Knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Various forms of pollutants affect marine life (p31) Social Science: Environmental concerns which are the result of the exploitation of some natural resources. (p157) Suggest ways of alleviating some of the environmental concerns. (p157) Background information for teachers: Ideas for these lessons were taken from the “Wondrous West Indian Wetlands Teacher’ Resource Book” and “People and Corals – An education pack for Caribbean Primary Schools.” All schools in Tobago have received a copy of both of these resource books. Activity: SESSION 1 7. Ask students some of the ways in which they use water and what they think happens to the waste water when they finish with it. 8. Explain that when water washes down the plughole, drain or street it will end up polluting rivers that will eventually run into the sea. 9. Read poem Away on the Bay. Ask students to listen out for different types of pollution and effects. 10. After you have finished reading the poem, ask children whether the waste from Away really did go away. 11. List on the board different types of pollution in Away and the effects of that pollution on marine life and people. 12. Discuss other forms of pollution that effect marine life and people. Eg. fertilizers, pesticides, sewage, oil, sediments. SESSION 2 6. Tell students that they are going to take a closer look at some of the activities that citizens of Away do and decide whether they are water polluting criminals. 154
    • 7. They will be judge and jury and will use the information provided, to identify what water pollution crimes they are guilty of. 8. Give out copies of the Water Criminals? The Accused worksheet. Read out the information about each of the accused and decide whether each one is guilty. 9. If they decide that a citizen is guilty, they must pass sentence. The sentence will require the criminals to clean up their pollution and take steps to reduce pollution in the future. 10. Lead a discussion about the crimes committed by the water polluting criminals, and what each criminal could do in the future to minimize pollution SESSION 3 Preparation 4. Lay piece of wood with one end slightly elevated by a small brick and resting a couple of inches above the ground. The other end will lie directly on the ground, forming a triangle. 5. Spread soil on the elevated half of the wood to represent a farming area typical of Tobagonian landscape, with mounds for hills and valleys for streams and rivers. 6. On the bottom half of the slope, place green card to represent mangrove and blue card to represent sea. Pieces of dead coral may be placed onto blue card to represent coral reef. 6. Explain model to the students and how it represents a typical Tobago landscape. 7. Select a student to pour food colouring onto the upland areas. Explain how this represents various pollutants. Ask students what types of pollution there is in Tobago 8. What do you think will happen to the various pollutants when it rains? 9. Using watering can, select another student to sprinkle soil evenly with a good amount of water, representing heavy rainfall. Ideally, the river will begin to show signs of different coloured waters, evidence that pollutants can run-off from the land into the river, and eventually out to the sea. 10. Discuss the effects of this pollutant run off on people, animals and plants and the sea. 155
    • Natural resources Subjects: Social Studies Aims: To understand the need for the sustainable development of natural resources. Objectives: Students will be able to 1) classify natural resources as renewable or non-renewable resources, 2) list examples of natural resources in T&T, 3) identify ways of conserving each natural resource. Previous knowledge: Students should be familiar with some ways humans use the natural environment for goods and services. Key vocabulary: resources, natural resources, renewable / non-renewable resources. Environment, ecosystem Suggested Time: 3 periods Materials: dictionary, stones Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Social Studies: Sustainability (p154) Background information for the teacher: This activity first discusses definitions and examples of natural resources and then students play games to illustrate the importance of managing use of renewable and non-renewable resources. Non-renewable resource: Resources that are present in the environment in finite or limited quantities, while the demand for them is infinite or unlimited. The rate at which they are formed is too slow to compensate for the amount used. Their quantities decrease with time. Examples: petroleum, natural gas, coal, and minerals. Renewable resources: Resources that continue to replace themselves and are likely to be there if we balance the rate at which we use them against their rate of growth or reproduction. Examples: Plants, animals. Activity: SESSION I 1. Review ways that humans use the natural environment. 2. Have students look up the meaning of resources in their dictionary. 3. Discuss what is a resource. 4. Give examples of resources, and have students classify resources into natural resources and other resources. 5. Provide a definition of natural resources. 6. Discuss non-renewable resources, giving examples. 7. Discuss renewable resources, giving examples. 8. Define renewable and non-renewable resources. 9. Have students research an example of a natural resource as a homework assignment. 156
    • SESSION II 1. Play a game to illustrate the importance of managing use of non-renewable resources. 2. Divide the class into groups, 5 persons in each group. 3. Distribute 30 stones to each group. Place these in the middle of the players. 4. For each player’s turn, let him or her remove 5 stones from the central pile. 5. Play several rounds until all the stones from the central pile have been taken. 6. Count how many rounds have been played. 7. Discuss how non-renewable resources are like stones. 8. Return all the stones to the center. 9. For each player’s turn, let him or her take 2 stones from the central pile. 10.Play several rounds until all the stones from the central pile have been taken. 11.Count how many rounds have been played. 12.Discuss how by wisely using non-renewable resources, we can make them last longer so that they are available for future generations. SESSION III 6. 1. Play a game to illustrate the importance of managing use of renewable resources. 7. 2. Divide the class into groups, 5 persons in each group. 8. 3. Distribute 30 stones to each group. Place these in the middle of the players. 9. 4. Explain that the stones represent deer, and the game will look at how hunting of deer (as a renewable resource) must be managed. 10. 5. For the first game, let each player harvest 4 stones for their turn. Play 10 rounds. 11. 6. Discuss if the population is decreasing, increasing, or remaining the same. 12. 7. For the second game, let each player harvest 1 stone for their turn. Play 10 rounds. 13. 8. Discuss if the population is decreasing, increasing, or remaining the same. 14. 9. For the third game, let each player harvest 2 stones for their turn. Play 10 rounds. 10. Discuss if the population is decreasing, increasing, or remaining the same. 11. For the fourth game, let each player harvest however many stones they like for their turn. Play 10 rounds. 12. Discuss if the population is decreasing, increasing, or remaining the same. 13.Discuss which strategy would allow continued harvesting of deer into the future. 14.Discuss the concept of sustainable harvest of a renewable resource, giving examples. Evaluation: Give students a list of natural resources to classify as renewable or non-renewable resources. Have students conduct research to make a poster display of renewable and non-renewable resources in T&T and how they are being used. Follow-up Activities: Field trips to visit industries using natural resources. 157
    • Lessons – Standard 4 Development of wetland areas Subjects: Science, Social Studies Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Wetlands are one of the most important habitats of the world (p39) Social Studies: Causes and consequences (p176) Wetland Metaphor Game Subjects: Science Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Wetlands are on of the most important habitats in the world (p39) The Water Cycle Subjects: Social Studies Conceptual Knowledge component and Curriculum link: Social Studies: Sustainability – The sequence of the water cycle and its importance to humans and their activities. (p170) Leatherback turtles Subjects: Social Science, Language Arts Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Social Science: Impact and sustainability – Investigating environmental issues in and around the island. (p172) Language Arts: Reading comprehension – Summarising (p44) Threats to leatherback turtles Subjects: Social Science, Physical Education, Mathematics Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Social Science: Impact and sustainability – Investigating environmental issues in and around the island. (p172) Mathematics: Statistics – gather data and tabulate data. (p87) 158
    • Development of wetland areas Subjects: Science, Social Studies Aims: Increase awareness of the values of wetlands and the need to preserve them. Objectives: Students will be able to 1) identify wetland areas in Tobago according to a set of characteristics and know their values, functions and threats, 2) identify how development affects wetlands, 3) recognize the need for preserving and conserving the environment for sustainable development. Previous knowledge: Students should be familiar with place names in Tobago and reading simple maps Key vocabulary: wetland, mangrove, sustainable development Suggested time: Session 1 - 40 mins Session 2 – 30 mins Session 3 – 30 mins Materials: “Wetland World- A World To Discover” video, Key Mangrove maps, coloured pens, paper Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Wetlands are one of the most important habitats of the world (p39) Social Studies: Causes and consequences (p176) Background information for the teacher: The few remaining wetlands in Tobago are generally seen as waste areas that can either be developed upon or used as illegal garbage dumps. It is therefore, very important that students from an early age learn the values and functions of wetland areas and why they are so important to not only the animals, fish and plants that live there, but humans as well. The “ Wetland World – A World To Discover” video can be borrowed from the Environment Tobago Office. The West Indian Whistling Duck Working Group of the Society of Caribbean Ornithology has also produced a wonderful teacher’s resource book, entitled Wondrous West Indian Wetlands. It is full of information and has some great lesson plan ideas. Every school in Tobago was given a copy. Activity: SESSION 1 1. Review with the students what an eco-system is and that wetlands are an important eco- system. 2. Watch first part of “Wetland World – A World To Discover” video. Ask students to try and find the answers to these questions, while watching the video. • What is a wetland? • What types of wetland do you find in Tobago? • Where are the wetlands in Tobago? Stop video and discuss answers. 3. Watch second part of video. Ask students to try and find the answers to these questions, while watching the video. • Why are wetlands important? 159
    • • What are the three types of mangrove? • What animals, birds and fish do you find in Tobago’s wetlands? Stop video and discuss answers. 4. Watch third part of video. Ask students to try and find the answers to these questions, while watching the video. • What are the main threats to Tobago’s wetlands? • What areas of Tobago used to be wetland? • What can we do to help protect wetlands? Stop video and discuss answers. SESSION 2 1. Focus on the question of development. 2. Give out maps of Key Mangrove that depict changes that have occurred over a period of thirty years in a hypothetical wetland area. 3. Ask students to look at Map 1 and use key to identify land usage on the island. 4. Ask students to look at Map 2, 3 and 4 and use key to identify how the island has developed over the 30 year period? • How has transportation increased? • What industries have been added or expanded? • How has housing increased? • What leisure facilities have been added? • What public services have been added? • How much swamp has disappeared? • Why do you think so much development took place in wetland areas? • What effect would this development have on a) animals, birds and fish, b) the sea, c) water supply? • Where do you think development could have taken place, without destroying the wetland areas? • What types of recreational facilities could take place in the wetland without destroying it? SESSION 3 1. Give students copies of the undeveloped Key Mangrove maps. 2. Students should think about what facilities a developing area would need and try to manage development without harming too much of the mangrove area. 3. Students draw development onto their maps and create a key 4. Finish the lesson by drawing some of the student’s ideas for development on and enlarged map of Key Mangrove Suggested follow up activities 1. Debate and write up an argument about the pros and cons of developing on wetland areas. 2. Create a collage of mangrove swamp, showing flora and fauna. 160
    • Wetland Metaphor Game Subjects: Science Aims: Increase awareness of the values of wetlands and the need to preserve them. Objectives: Students will be able to state the values and functions of wetlands. Previous knowledge: What a wetland is and where they are located in Tobago. It would help if students had already watched “Wetland World – A World To Discover” video. Key vocabulary: function, pollution, erosion Suggested Time: 2 periods Materials: cards with pictures of everyday objects, cards with explanations of functions of wetlands Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Wetlands are on of the most important habitats in the world (p39) Background information for the teacher: The few remaining wetlands in Tobago are generally seen as waste areas that can either be developed upon or used as illegal garbage dumps. It is therefore, very important that students from an early age learn the values and functions of wetland areas and why they are so important to not only the animals, fish and plants that live there, but humans as well. The “Wetland World – A World To Discover” video can be borrowed from the Environment Tobago Office. The West Indian Whistling Duck Working Group of the Society of Caribbean Ornithology has also produced a wonderful teacher’s resource book, entitled Wondrous West Indian Wetlands. It is full of information and has some great lesson plan ideas. Every school in Tobago was given a copy. Activity: SESSION 1 1. Recap definition of a wetland and where they are located in Tobago. 2. Introduce the idea that many people in Tobago regard wetlands as waste areas. Few people realize that they perform very important functions for humans, animals, birds, fish and plants and ALL FOR FREE. 3. Place the pictures of every day objects on the board. Explain that these pictures are metaphors or clues for the different functions that wetlands perform. 4. Read out one of the explanation cards. ie. Wetlands absorb and hold excess water and pollution, stopping it from going out to the sea. 161
    • 5. Ask students which picture shows an object that matches this description. ie. sponge. 6. Place picture cards and explanation cards together on the board. Repeat with all the other cards until they are all matched up. 7. Take the explanation cards away and hold up the picture cards one at a time. Ask children to explain the function that each card represents. SESSION 2 1. Divide students into groups of 6/7. Give each group a copy of the picture cards and the explanation card. 2. Ask students to place the cards face down on their desks and mix them up. 3. The first student picks up one of each of the cards and reads it out to the group and shows the picture. If they match, they keep the cards, if not they place them face down back on the table. 4. The next student does the same and so on, until all the cards have been taken. The winner is the student with the most cards. 162
    • Wetland Metaphor Game Resources These explanation and picture cards can be enlarged and photocopied, then cut out and stuck onto card. Wetlands absorb and hold excess water and pollution, stopping it from going out to the sea. Wetlands are a good resting place for migratory birds. Wetlands are homes and provide shelter for many animals and plants. Do you know what lives there? Wetlands mix oxygen and nutrients into the water. Wetlands provide a nursery for many young animals, where they are safe from predators. Do you know which animals breed there?
    • Wetlands help to filter out small particles and other pollutants from water that runs into them. Wetlands provide food for many animals and plants. Do you know what animals feed there? Wetlands help to clean the environment. Wetlands provide fresh, unpolluted water for animals and humans. Wetlands on the coast protect shorelines from storms and hurricanes, reducing coastal erosion.
    • The Water Cycle Subjects: Social Studies Aims: To recognize the importance of clean water to support human, animal and plant life. Objectives: Students will be able to identify and sequence the process of the water cycle. Previous knowledge: The importance of water for the survival of plants, animals and humans. Key vocabulary: water cycle, evaporation, precipitation, transpiration, condensation, ground water, run-off Suggested Time: Session 1 – 20 mins Session 2 – 30 mins Session 3 – 20 mins Materials: The incredible journey of a drop of water display and cards, Water cycle display and cards, matching game cards Conceptual Knowledge component and Curriculum link: Social Studies: Sustainability – The sequence of the water cycle and its importance to humans and their activities. (p170) Activity: SESSION 1 1. Discuss with students what we use water for and that 75% of our body is made of water. 2. Discuss how water is essential for all human, animal and plant life. 3. Discuss where the world’s water is; • Oceans- 96% • Ice masses- 2.2% • Ground water 1.3% • Lakes 0.2% • Vegetation 0.1% • Atmosphere 0.1 % • Rivers 0.1% 4. Introduce the idea that the amount of water in the world stays the same. It just moves around the world changing states. 5. Discuss solid, liquid and gas states of water. 6. Tell students that we are going to follow a journey made by one drop of water that comes out of a tap to see where it goes. 7. Using picture cards trace the journey of the drop of water from a; tap→ cup→ human→ toilet→ sewage system→ sea→ cloud→ rain→ reservoir→ pipe→ tap. Place cards in a circle 8. Tell students that this journey is called the water cycle. (It is estimated that in London, the water that comes out of the taps has been through about 8 people before.) 163
    • SESSION 2 1. Tell students that we are going to look at the scientific process that makes the water cycle work 2. Look at diagram of the water cycle. Start with the sea. Where does the water go from the sea? Explain the process of evaporation. 3. Explain that when the water reaches the cooler air in the sky it condenses. 4. The water returns to earth by the process of precipitation. 5. Some water will now run off the land into rivers, streams and lakes. 6. Some ground water will seep into underground rivers. 7. Plants will use some water. Any excess water will return to the clouds through a process called transpiration. 8. The water that does not return by transpiration will eventually reach the see and the whole cycle will begin again. 9. While explaining each step of the water cycle place cards with key words in the correct place on the diagram. 10. When you have finished explaining the key words ask students to re-cap on the meanings. SESSION 3 1. Divide students into groups of 4/5 children and give each group a set of cards with key words and definitions. 2. As a group, students should read the key words and the definitions and try and match them together. They can use the diagram to help. 3. If the group is successful, they turn the cards upside down. 4. Each student will take a turn to turn over a keyword card and a definition card. If they match and the group agrees, then they keep the card. If it does not, then they return the card. 5. The winner is the student with the most cards. Suggested follow up activities 1. Children to draw a diagram of their own incredible journey of a drop of water. 2. Children to imagine that they are a drop of water and write about the journey that they take. 3. Drama based on the movement and different states that water takes. 164
    • Water Cycle Resources These can be photocopied and stuck onto card for water cycle display and to make sets of cards for the matching game Evaporation Change of water from liquid to gas Condensation Change of water from gas to liquid
    • Precipitation Water that falls to the earth Run off Flow of water from land into rivers, lakes and wetlands
    • Ground water Water that collects in underground streams Transpiration Excess water from leaves turns to gas
    • Leatherback turtles Subjects: Social Science, Language Arts Aims: To understand the need to conserve endangered species Objectives: Students will be able to answer questions on a comprehension passage about some features of the biology, ecology and conservation of the leatherback turtle. Previous knowledge: Students should be familiar with a beach ecosystem. Key vocabulary: endangered Suggested Time: 2 periods Materials: Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Social Science: Impact and sustainability – Investigating environmental issues in and around the island. (p172) Language Arts: Reading comprehension – Summarising (p44) Background information for the teacher: The lessons on the leatherback would be most effective if done during the nesting season, which is from May to August. These stories on the biology, ecology, and conservation of the leatherback are preparation for later lessons. See also the Appendix for more information. Activity: Have students read the following two comprehension passages and answer the questions that follow. Nesting Leatherback Turtles The leatherback is the largest living turtle. From its head to its tail, it is about one and a half meters long. This is as tall as many ten year-old children. The leatherback is unique among turtles, in that it does not have a hard bony shell. Instead, its back is covered with leathery skin. This is how it got its name, the leatherback. Leatherbacks live in the sea, and they feed on jellyfish. During the day, many jellyfish sink deep under the surface. Then, the leatherback turtles must dive below the water to catch the jellyfish. Leatherbacks can hold their breath for up to twenty minutes long. They are good swimmers and use their big flippers like paddles when they swim. Baby leatherbacks are called hatchlings. They are born from eggs that their mothers dig in the sand on a beach. Every year, these mother leatherbacks swim to beaches in Trinidad and Tobago, and crawl up to did the nests and lay their eggs. They dig the nest using their big back flippers. They lay hundreds of eggs at one time. The eggs are white and have soft shells. Then the mother turtle buries the nest under sand, and crawls slowly back to the sea. This is a very tiring job and the mother turtle is usually very tired by the time she is through. The mother leatherback will come back to 165
    • the same beach about ten days later to lay another nest. She will come back about six times again, before she leaves the sea around Trinidad and Tobago. Scientists think that leatherbacks spend the rest of the year swimming in different parts in the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. After about two months, the baby hatchlings hatch out of their eggs. They dig their way to the top of the sand, and crawl to the sea. They are about as big as your hand, and looks just like their mothers but tiny. Sometimes, they get lost on their way to the sea. Sometimes crabs, corbeaus, dogs, and other animals eat them. When they reach the sea, sometimes sharks eat them. But some survive and swim away into the deep sea. One day, if they are mothers, they will swim back to the same beach where they were born to dig their own nests. Leatherbacks are Endangered Leatherback turtles were swimming in the sea when dinosaurs were still alive and walking on the land. Leatherback turtles are still swimming in the sea today. Leatherbacks are found around the world. Hundreds of mother leatherbacks lay their nests on the beaches of Trinidad and Tobago each year. Some of the beaches where leatherbacks nest in Trinidad are Grande Riviere, Madamas, Manzanilla, Fishing Point, and Matura. Leatherbacks also nest on beaches in Tobago, one beach where they nest is even called Turtle Beach because of the leatherbacks that nest there. Even though the leatherbacks have been around for thousands of years, they are endangered now. That means that there is a danger that all the leatherbacks in the world will die, and there will be no more leatherbacks ever. This is a very scary thought. Leatherbacks are endangered because many are being killed by people and animals, and less hatchlings are being born. Sometimes leatherbacks think that a plastic bag that is floating in the ocean is a jellyfish, and they try to eat it. It gets stuck in their throat and they die. Leatherbacks are also being killed accidentally by fishermen. Sometimes leatherbacks get caught in fishing nets. Sometimes their flipper gets caught in a fishing line. If they are caught underwater, they will soon drown because leatherbacks need air to breathe just like you do. Some people even catch leatherbacks to eat. We have to be careful that we don't catch too many though. It is important that we make sure that many leatherbacks continue to be born. Some people like to eat the meat of the turtle, and they kill the mother leatherbacks when they come up on the beaches to lay their nests. This is especially bad because then the mother cannot lay her eggs, and all those hatchlings will not be born. Killing one mother leatherbacks means that thousands of hatchlings will not be born. Because of this, killing mother leatherbacks on or near the beaches is against the law. The government and the people who live in the villages near the beaches are working hard to make sure this does not happen. Sometimes people go and dig up nests to eat the eggs. This means that all those baby hatchlings will not be born. This is also against the law. Stray dogs also dig up nests to eat eggs, so it is important that we try to keep dogs off beaches where the leatherbacks nest. Driving cars on beaches can also crush the eggs in the nests. This is also against the law. One thing that we cannot control is nature. Sometimes the river on the beach washes away sand so much that it washes away the eggs in nests. If there is a big storm eggs also get washed away. 166
    • One thing people can do is clean up the beaches. Leatherbacks cannot dig their nests if there is too much garbage on the beaches. Leatherbacks also cannot crawl over big logs. Some people go every year to clean up the beaches before the leatherbacks come. Many people like to go to see the leatherbacks nest. They are amazing. It is fun to go in the night on the quiet beach and hear the waves crashing while the mother leatherback works hard to lay all of her eggs. Have you ever been to see the leatherbacks nest? Evaluation: Answer the following comprehension questions. Nesting Leatherback Turtles How did leatherback turtles get their name? What do leatherbacks eat? Where do mother leatherbacks dig their nests? What do leatherback eggs look like? What are baby leatherbacks called? What are some of the animals that eat the hatchlings when they are crawling from their nests to the sea? Leatherbacks are Endangered What does endangered mean? Why are leatherbacks endangered? Why do people kill leatherbacks? How do plastic bags in the ocean kill leatherbacks? Why is driving cars on the beaches against the law? What are some of the ways that people are taking care of leatherbacks? Follow-up Activities: Have students write an essay entitled "If I was a leatherback". Start a scrapbook on the leatherback, with clippings from newspapers and copies from other sources, and graphs, essays and information from the lessons. Borrow a video on the leatherback turtle from the Wildlife Section, Forestry Division. 167
    • Threats to leatherback turtles Subjects: Social Science, Physical Education, Mathematics Aims: To understand the need to conserve endangered species Objectives: Students will be able to 1) dramatise some of the main threats that leatherback turtles face on their nesting beaches and at sea, through games, 2) gather data to calculate the amount of hatchlings that survive to reach deep sea. Previous knowledge: Students should be familiar with the biology, ecology and conservation of leatherback turtles. Key vocabulary: conservation, endangered Suggested Time: 3periods Materials: paper bags, stones, chalk, paper, pins, socks, boxes filled with shredded paper or sawdust. Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Social Science: Impact and sustainability – Investigating environmental issues in and around the island. (p172) Mathematics: Statistics – gather data and tabulate data. (p87) Background information for the teacher: The lessons on the leatherback would be most effective if done during the nesting season, which is from May to August. The comprehension passages in the Leatherback Turtle lesson review the biology, ecology, and conservation of leatherbacks in T&T. These activities have the students simulate some of the threats faced by the adults, hatchlings, and eggs. The leatherbacks face many threats, both in the sea and on the nesting beaches. Threats on the nesting beaches include: (1) poaching of adult females on the nesting beaches for their meat and excavation of the nests for the eggs; (2) erosion of the beaches by sand mining or when the sand is washed away by rivers or high waves, and exposes or totally washes away the buried nests; (3) oil pollution and debris on the beaches that hamper the movements of both the adults and the hatchlings; (4) development of the coasts can disturb the turtles, lights and noise especially can disorient them; (5) the hatchlings are preyed upon by vultures, mongoose, crabs and dogs (who may also dig up the nests. In the sea the turtles are threatened by: (1) hunting by fishermen; (2) accidental entrapment in nets and lines; (3) hatchlings are preyed upon by sharks, fish and seabirds along the coast; (4) turtles may accidentally ingest plastic bags and other human debris that are polluting the sea that they may mistake for the jellyfish that they eat. See also the Appendix for more information. Activity: SESSION I Pre-Activity: 1. Review the basic biology and ecology of leatherbacks from Lesson 6.06. 2. Review how adult leatherback turtles are threatened by pollution in the sea and fishermen’s nets and lines. 168
    • 3. Choose half of the class to represent the adult turtles in the sea. 4. Choose one quarter of the students to represent fishermen and pollution. 5. Choose the last quarter of students to represent the conservationists who want to help the turtles. 6. Demonstrate the motions to be used by each group and have the class practice these. Hands-on: 1. Play a game of “stick-in-the-mud” catch, where the fishermen and the pollution try to catch the turtles, which freeze until they are “rescued” by the conservationists. 2. Discuss how in real life, the turtles cannot be rescued and they die. However, conservationists are working to help reduce these threats to turtles. One way is for everyone to reduce the amount of pollution being dumped on land and into rivers and the sea. Another way is for laws to make it illegal to catch turtles during the nesting season when they are commonly in our waters. In fact, fisheries legislation is being redrafted to address the latter concern. 3. Discuss how killing female leatherbacks reduces reproduction of the leatherback population as killing one female means that hundreds of potential hatchlings will not be born. SESSION II Pre-Activity: 4. Review the nesting biology and ecology of leatherbacks, and the threats faced by nesting females and their nests on the beaches. 5. Divide the class into groups: scientists (2 students), adult female turtles (one-quarter of the class), river (1 student), dogs (3 students), and poachers (the rest). Label each group using paper pinned onto the student's shirt. 6. Demonstrate and let each group practice how they behave (turtles swim, poachers sneak in and kill turtles or dig up eggs, dogs run and bark and dig up eggs, river flows and erodes away sand and so washes away eggs). 7. Using chalk lines, demarcate a large area as the nesting beach. 8. Position the same number of filled nesting boxes as there are female turtles on the beach. 9. Give each female sea turtle a (doubled up so it does not burst) bag with about 100 small stones in it to represent their eggs. Hands-on: Round 1: On the nesting beach - threats to the adult nesting females 10. Let the female turtles start from the sea, which is the area outside of the nesting beach. 11. Let the poachers wait in a corner of the nesting beach. 12. Give the female turtles a head start, and let them try to swim to the nesting beach. Once they are on the beach, they must crawl on all fours and try to lay their eggs in a nesting box. They must bury the eggs in the paper or sawdust. 13. Let the poachers try to stop the turtles from laying. A pair of poachers can kill a turtle by tagging it, then turning it over onto its back. The poachers must then remain with the turtle they killed, they cannot kill another. 169
    • 14. Give the turtles 3-4 minutes to try to lay their eggs. They must lay their eggs one at a time and bury each in the box. They should try to smooth the sawdust or the paper to camouflage where they buried the eggs, just as an actual turtle would try to cover signs of where the nest is. 15. At the end of this time, let the two scientists count the number of turtles that were killed by poachers, and the number of nests that were successfully laid. Only eggs that were buried under the paper or sawdust count as having been successfully laid, the others should be removed and not counted. Let the scientists record these numbers. 16. Discuss how hunting of female leatherbacks on the nesting beaches reduces reproduction of the leatherback population as killing one female means that hundreds of potential hatchlings will not be born. 17. Remove the unused nests, let all female turtles leave the beach, and the poachers regroup in one corner of the beach. Round 2: On the nesting beach - threats to the nests of eggs 18. Let the dogs and the river join the poachers in a corner of the beach. 19. Divide them into two teams. 20. In this area, place a box for each team for stolen and dead eggs. 21. Give them 2 minutes to remove eggs from the nests. They can only remove one egg from each nest at a time. 22. After removing each egg, they must run and put it in a pile in the box for dead eggs. 23. At the end of this time, let the two scientists count the number of eggs that were removed, and the number that were left in the nests by each team (the sum of these numbers gives the total number of eggs that were successfully laid). 24. Discuss how removal of eggs from nests by poachers and dogs and nests washed away by flooded rivers reduces reproduction of the leatherback population. SESSION III Pre-Activity: 25. Recall the lessons learnt in Session I and II. 26. Review the threats faced by hatchlings attempting to reach the sea after they emerge from the nest. 27. Choose students to represent the hatchlings that want to escape to the sea. Choose the same number of hatchlings as eggs that were left in the nest in Session II (If the number of eggs that survived is very large, choose a number of students so that each students represents a set number of hatchlings from eggs that survive, for example one student = 4 hatchlings. This is important for calculations in Lesson 6.08). Let each hatchling tuck a sock into their waistband at their back. 28. Demonstrate and have students practice the behaviour of the hatchlings. 29. Draw a large circle to represent the nesting beach. Let the hatchlings stand in groups within the circle. 30. Draw a line a short distance around the edge of the beach to indicate deep water that is safe for hatchlings. 170
    • 31. Choose one student to represent each of the predators on the beach that want to eat the hatchlings: vultures, mongoose, crabs, and dogs. Let them start from a position in the middle of the beach. 32. Choose one student to represent each of the predators in the sea that want to eat the hatchlings: sea birds, sharks, and fish. Let them start from a position a little away from the edge of the beach, in the sea. 33. Demonstrate and have the students practice the behaviours of the predators. Hands-on: 34. The hatchlings must try to crawl to the safety of the deep water. 35. Each of the predators must try to "eat" the escaping hatchlings by pulling the sock out of their waist. If the hatchlings are eaten, they must leave the playing area. Let each of the predators mimic the movements of the animal they are representing. 36. Give the hatchlings a head start, then give the predators 5 minutes to try to "eat" the hatchlings. At the end of the round, note how many hatchlings survived and how many were eaten. 37. Discuss the high levels of mortality of hatchlings as typical of this species, which produces hundreds of eggs to compensate for this heavy mortality. Evaluation: Have students demonstrate the behaviours of and discuss all the threats faced by adults, hatchlings, and eggs of leatherbacks. Divide these into those caused by humans and those that are natural events in the ecosystem. Have students fill in the following table from the data collected in the four sessions. Session II: Round 1 Number of nesting females Number of nests successfully laid Number of turtles killed on beach Session II: Round 2 Number of eggs lost from nests Number of eggs left in nests Number of eggs successfully laid Session III Number of hatchlings emerged Number of hatchlings survive to reach deep sea Follow-up Activities: Invite a representative from the Wildlife Section, Forestry Division, or one of the village groups (Nature Seekers Incorporated, Grande Riviere Environmental Awareness Trust, or Fishing Pond) in to talk about the leatherback conservation project. 171
    • Write a list of the threats faced by the adults, hatchlings, and eggs of the leatherbacks in the scrapbook. Divide the list into threats due to humans and threats from natural factors in the ecosystem. Hold a poster competition with the theme “Save the leatherback turtles”. 172
    • Lessons – Standard 5 The structure of a forest Subjects: Science, Art & Craft Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Deforestation affects the environment. (p46) Art & Craft: Painting – Discover and reproduce forms in landscape (p45) Values of biodiversity Subjects: Science, Language Arts Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Deforestation affects the environment. (p46) Language Arts: Persuasive writing (p65) Habitat loss and fragmentation Subjects: Science, Physical Education Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Deforestation affects the environment. (p46) Planning to minimize habitat fragmentation Subjects: Science Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Deforestation affects the environment. (p46) 173
    • The structure of a forest Subjects: Science, Art & Craft Aim: To understand the importance of conserving forest ecosystems. Objectives: Students will be able to draw a picture of a forest showing the different layers. Previous knowledge: Students should know what a forest is and that it is composed of a diversity of plant species. Key vocabulary: forest, plant Suggested Time: 1 period Materials: drawing materials, paper Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Deforestation affects the environment. (p46) Art & Craft: Painting – Discover and reproduce forms in landscape (p45) Background information for the teacher: This activity has students make observations of the structure of a forest. There are many small parks or other forested areas near the school that will be suitable for this exercise. If it is not possible to take the students on a field trip to one of these sites, discuss different plants in a garden, and how there are large trees as well as smaller plants (shrubs and herbs) that can grow under the trees. Or bring in pictures of tropical forests for the students to look at. This lesson aims at exposing students to the structure of a tropical forest, and the diversity of plant species found there. Tropical forests are made up of four main layers, the canopy layer is the layer made up of the crowns of tall trees. This is an almost continuous layer that looks like a green carpet when viewed in a plane above. There are also very tall trees that emerge above the canopy layer. This is called the emergent layer. Below the tall trees are smaller and younger trees whose crowns have not yet reached the canopy. Palms are included in this layer which is called the sub-canopy layer. Some of the young trees in this layer will eventually form part of the canopy layer if a tree above them dies so that there is a space in the canopy. The understory layer is made up of the shrubs, herbs, other small plants, and seedlings. Vines and lianas (woody vines) may extend through all these layers. It is not important that students know the names of these layers, but rather that they recognize that there is a vertical structure of layers of plants in the forest. Activity: 1. Have the students sit together in an area in the forest. 2. Lead a discussion to guide students to make observations about the structure and diversity of plant species in the forest. Ask them questions to direct their observations. Examples of the type of questions are: (1) Show me some plants of different sizes. (2) Show me plants that look different. (3) Show me different types of leaves. 174
    • 3. In this way, have students recognize that there is a vertical structure of different types of plants in the forest. 4. Discuss how the tall plants that need to grow up to the canopy layer are supported by a large thick trunk. 5. Discuss how vines and lianas are other plants can grow up to tall layers by climbing on the trees. 6. Discuss how plants that grow short near to the ground do not need a thick trunk to support them. 7. Have the students draw and colour a picture of the forest that illustrates their observations about the vertical structure of different types of plants. Evaluation: Have students display their drawings and discuss them. Follow-up Activities: Have the class make a large mural for the wall to show the vertical structure of different plants in the forest. This can be made as a collage of different paper plants pasted on the wall. 175
    • Values of biodiversity Subjects: Science, Language Arts Aim: To understand the importance of conserving forest ecosystems. Objectives: Students will be able to write a business letter and an essay on the values of forest biodiversity. Previous knowledge: Students should be familiar with some of the biodiversity of T&T Key vocabulary: biodiversity, value, utilitarian, anthropocentric, intrinsic, biocentric, goods, services Suggested Time: 2 periods Materials: Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Deforestation affects the environment. (p46) Language Arts: Persuasive writing (p65) Background information for the teacher: This lesson looks at both utilitarian values and intrinsic values of biodiversity. Biodiversity is the diversity of genes, species, and ecosystems. The values of biodiversity can be classified into two types, utilitarian and intrinsic. A utilitarian value is a value something has because it helps another species (humans) achieve some goal. These values are attributed using an anthropocentric viewpoint, that is, by looking at the values of biodiversity from the perspective of humans. A biocentric perspective is used to attribute intrinsic values. An intrinsic value is a value that something has in its own right, not because something else uses it. To some extent these are conflicting views, but they are both valid. It is important that students learn to appreciate different viewpoints and perspectives. Several categories of utilitarian values can be defined. Biodiversity can have value as goods. Many examples of biodiversity being used as resources such as food or materials can be given. Even if an item of biodiversity does not have a current use as a good, it may be argued that it is still a potential resource. Many believe that tropical forests hold tremendous potential value as a source of potential medicinal products. Biodiversity can also provide important ecological services to humans. An example is the functioning of ecosystems as watersheds. The pollination of many agricultural crops by insects is another. A third utilitarian value is described as the information value. The biological world is seen as a tremendous library of information to science in its quest to understand the workings of things. The final utilitarian value is the psycho-spiritual value of biodiversity. This value is based on human appreciation of the aesthetics of nature, which philosophers have termed ‘biophilia’, as a deep-rooted inherent love of humans for a beautiful natural world. This also includes the cultural, religious and spiritual significance of biodiversity. Intrinsic values are less definable. A simple analogy may be useful in understanding this approach. It is widely agreed that each human being has intrinsic value, regardless of their worth to other people or to society. In the same way, biodiversity also has intrinsic value regardless of its worth to human society. 176
    • Activity: 1. Review what is biodiversity. 2. Discuss utilitarian and intrinsic values of biodiversity, and give examples from the following table. Value Examples Goods A forest produces many important goods that people use, for example wood from trees, plants to make baskets from, fruit to eat, animals to eat, medicines from plants (bush tea as well as other medicines that are bought in the pharmacy), etc.. Forests are also important areas for recreation. Services Forests also perform several important ecological services. Very importantly they serve as habitat for a great diversity of animals and plants. These animals and plants may be used by people, for example animals are hunted, and fruits are gathered for food. Forests are also important as they help the rain to soak up into the soils so that it does not run off and flood other areas. Forests help to keep an area cool, even having trees near to your house will keep it shady and cool. Psycho- People also value forests for their aesthetic beauty, and spiritual or spiritual religious value. In T&T, we have many folklore stories about the forest, value for example about Papa Bois, the guardian of the forest. Thus forests have cultural value also. Intrinsic People also think that forests are important in their own right, value independent of the values that they hold for humans. This is harder to explain, but use the analogy of asking a student why he or she is important. It is not only because they are important to their family or their friends (though they are). It is also because they are important in their own right, even if other people did not think that they were important. In the same way, forests, and everything in them, are important in their own right. Ideas for Evaluation: Ask students to fill in the blanks in the following passage. Values of biodiversity Biodiversity has many values. Biodiversity is important because it is useful to humans. Many important goods are produced from animals and plants. One good that is produced from animals is --------- and one good that is produced from plants is ---------. Bees and other insects provide an important service to humans by -------------- agricultural crops. Many forest ecosystems are important in producing water for human use. They function as -------------. 177
    • Have students write an essay that starts “Nature is important to me because....”. Give a scenario where an area is to be deforested for development. An actual site may be given. Have students write a letter to the newspaper listing all the values of the forest, and arguing for its conservation. Ecotourism is an important source of revenue in T&T. This is based on humans’ love of nature. Write a letter to your friend from abroad that is coming to visit about the natural environment in T&T, and some of the beautiful places that they will visit. 178
    • Habitat loss and fragmentation Subjects: Science, Physical Education Aim: To understand the importance of conserving forest ecosystems. Objectives: Students will be able to play a game to show how habitat loss and fragmentation can threaten forest biodiversity. Previous knowledge: Students should be familiar with the terms population and habitat. Key vocabulary: population, habitat, fragmentation Suggested Time: 2 periods Materials: string, newspaper sheets Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Deforestation affects the environment. (p46) Background information for the teacher: These two games demonstrate how habitat loss and fragmentation can threaten biodiversity. Activity: SESSION I 1. This activity demonstrates the effect of shrinking habitat on wildlife populations. 2. In a large cleared area, lay out a circle using string or rope on the floor. Explain that this represents an ecosystem that is habitat to different animals. 3. Choose the ecosystem (for example forest, swamp, beach, grassland, field, garden, etc.). 4. Have each student choose an animal or plant from that ecosystem. 5. Let all the students go and sit inside the circle. 6. Explain how some of the ecosystem is then cleared by humans. For example, a forest is cleared to build a village, or plant fields to grow food, etc.. 7. Reduce the size of the circle by moving in the string. 8. As the circle gets smaller, then can move closer together but they cannot stand or sit on one another. 9. Repeat the shrinking habitat, each time asking students to describe one human activity that would cause some of the habitat to be destroyed. 10. As the circle gets smaller, eventually some of the students will not be able to fit and will have to leave the circle. 11. Wrap up the activity by having students identify ways that human activities destroy habitat, and thus lead to the reduction or extirpation of animal and plant populations. 179
    • SESSION II 1. This activity demonstrates the effect of habitat fragmentation on wildlife populations that are sensitive to the edge effect. 2. Lay 4-5 old sheets or blankets together on the floor (newspaper sheets taped together may be used instead). Explain that this represents an ecosystem that is habitat to different animals. 3. Choose the ecosystem (for example forest, swamp, beach, grassland, field, garden, etc.). 4. Have all of the students except 5 choose an animal or plant from that ecosystem. 5. Let all the students except the 5 go and sit on the blankets. 6. Discuss how there are things outside of the habitat that threaten the populations from the edge. These may be predators, for example domestic cats or humans who are hunters. 7. Discuss how some species are especially sensitive to these threats. For example, some species may be sensitive to extra light, wind and noise that comes from the edge of the habitat. Some species may be prey of predators that are found outside of the habitat. A variety of factors may be important. 8. Let the remaining 5 students be these threats. They must try and tag one of the animals or plants on the blankets. They must do this with both feet standing outside of the blanket. They can lean over but not place any part of their body on the blanket. The students inside the blankets will crowd together to try to avoid being tagged. 9. Explain that people have built roads through the habitat. Fold up pieces of the blankets where they touch to make spaces representing the roads that fragment the habitat. Discuss how the habitat has become fragmented. The students must now sit closer together to remain on the blankets. 10. Reduce the area of the blankets as necessary so that some students are tagged. These are now dead and must leave the blanket. 11. Wrap up the activity by discussing how habitat fragmentation can lead to reduction in wildlife populations. Evaluation: ♦ Have the students identify ways that human activity is fragmenting habitat and possibly threatening biodiversity. 180
    • Planning to minimize habitat fragmentation Subjects: Science Aim: To understand the importance of conserving forest ecosystems. Objectives: Students will be able to 1) demonstrate, the effect of habitat fragmentation on wildlife populations, 2) list some of the human activities that are responsible for deforestation and habitat fragmentation, 3) plan development to minimize habitat fragmentation. Previous knowledge: Students should know what a population is and how populations are affected by habitat fragmentation. Key vocabulary: fragmentation, habitat Suggested Time: 2 periods Materials: coloured paper, newspaper Conceptual knowledge component and Curriculum link: Science: Deforestation affects the environment. (p46) Background information for the teacher: This activity leads students through a simulation game of human development that causes habitat fragmentation and threatens biodiversity. It also demonstrates the effect of the increasing human population. Finally, it engages students in problem solving to minimise habitat fragmentation through planning of development. Habitat fragmentation is a serious problem for populations of many different animals and plants for several reasons. One reason is that the division of a population creates problems over generations as it hampers reproduction, for example as some animals may not be able to find mates in their fragment. Large animals that are territorial or simply need a large habitat area to provide them with the resources that they need are also negatively affected. Other animals may experience high levels of threats from sources outside of the forest. When the forest is fragmented into pieces, it increases their exposure to the edge and thus increases the amount of threats to their population. This is called the edge effect. For example, domestic cats may be able to exert heavy predation of forest birds that now live close to the edge of the forest. All these factors result in reduction of extirpation of the populations within forest fragments. In Lesson 3.05 students looked at how animal populations faced increased predation when traversing between forest fragments. This lesson looks at the phenomenon of habitat fragmentation, and at how this could result in predation of animals traversing fragments, and extirpation of populations within fragments that are too small to support them. 181
    • Activity: 1. Play a game to simulate some of the human activities that can cause deforestation. 2. First create an area to be the forest by pasting together three large pieces of newspaper. 3. Draw green trees on the paper. 4. Select 5 students to be farmers. 5. Give each farming family a 5 cm x 5 cm piece of paper. 6. Let each farmer colour his/her square green. This represents their field. 7. Let each farmer place his/her field anywhere in the forested area. 8. Discuss how many areas of T&T that were once forested long ago had to be cleared to plant fields to grow food for people. 9. Select 5 students to be loggers. 10. Give each logger a 5 cm x 5 cm piece of paper. Let them colour it brown. This represents the area of forest from which they will take their logs. 11. Let each logger place his/her area anywhere they like in the forest. 12. Discuss how some areas are deforested to get wood for people to use to build houses, furniture, etc.. 13. Choose 3 students to be developers. 14. Give each of the developers a strip of paper. Let them colour it black. These represent the roads through the forest. 15. Discuss how some areas are deforested to build roads for people to travel on. 16. Choose 5 students to be people who need houses. 17. Give each of these students a 5 cm x 5 cm piece of paper. Let them colour it red to represent an area with houses. 18. Let each house person place his/her square anywhere in the forest they like. 19. Discuss how some areas are deforested to build houses for people to live in. 20. Choose a student to be an industry. This industry is dumping its pollution in the forest surrounding it. 21. Give the industry person a 5 cm x 5 cm square to represent the area of the forest destroyed by pollution from this industry. Let the student place the square anywhere in the forest they choose. 22. Discuss how pollution from people can destroy forests. 23. Review the forest board. Discuss how different activities are causing deforestation. 24. Look at the pattern of deforestation. Is the forest fragmented into little intact pieces separated by deforested areas? 25. Explain how populations cannot use many little pieces of forest, but need large intact pieces. Use the case of fish in an aquarium to explain the concept that a population needs a minimum area to survive. Ask students to think about fish in an aquarium that is big enough for them to swim around in, get their food, interact with each other, and have hiding places. Ask them to think about what would happen if instead of one big aquarium, we poured all of the same water and plants and fish into many small bowls. The fish would still have the same amount of habitat, just that it would be split up into many small pieces. Since fish have no way of getting from one bowl to another, their population has been fragmented. Talk about how this creates problems for the fish, and that they cannot survive for long like this. Explain that big animals need large enough areas to find their food in. Other animals are very shy so they need big areas that are away from humans. 182
    • 26. Give the remaining students circles of 20 cm diameter. These represent animal and plant populations. 27. Explain how populations need large continuous areas of forest to find food and take shelter in. 28. Let the students try to place these animal populations within areas of intact forest. 29. If the circles overlap any squares representing deforested areas, the population cannot survive and must be removed from the board. Evaluation: ♦ Have the students cooperate to plan human development and investigate how planning can reduce habitat fragmentation. 1. Let the groups work together to decide how they would now place their squares if they cooperate and plan their development. Give them 10-15 minutes to discuss and place all the squares. 2. Examine whether the populations can now fit in intact forest. 3. Discuss how planning and working together means that larger areas of the forest can be kept intact. 4. Discuss how the placement of the squares affects how the forest is impacted by the human activities. Can the squares be placed in such a way so as to group some of the deforested areas closer together, so that larger areas of intact forest remain? 5. Discuss how in real situations, human activities are usually planned so that the areas impacted are close together. For example, many agricultural fields are often situated close together. Houses are often close together, and are close to roads. But, logging is an exception. Logged areas should NOT be all close together, because then the area would not be able to recover and regrow into forest. If too large an area is logged, it would become a grassland and trees could not easily develop there. 183
    • Glossary abiotic: Non-living, usually applied to the physical and chemical aspects of an environment. acid precipitation: Any for of precipitation (rain, snow, fog, dew, etc.) that has been made acidic by atmosphere pollution. adaptation: (1) Changes in the form or behaviour of an organism during its life cycle in response to changes in it environment. (2) Change in characteristics of an organism as a consequence of natural selection by evolution in response to changes in the environment. afforestation: The planting of trees in an area where previously there were none. allele: Alternative forms of a gene. attitude: A position, feeling or disposition with respect to somebody or something: a tendency to act for or against something. biotic: Living, usually applied to the biological aspects of an environment. canopy: The uppermost level in a forest comprised of tree crowns. carnivore: An organism that is predator and feeds on living animals. It is a secondary consumer. carrying capacity: The number of individuals of a particular species that the resources of a given environment can support. consensus: A decision reached by mutual acceptance of persons involved. conservation: The management of human use of the biosphere so that it may yield the greatest sustainable benefit to present generations while maintaining its potential to meet the needs and aspirations of future generations. The integrative management of something to preserve its basic elements and functions. Conservation thus includes both preservation and wise-use of natural resources. data: The smallest units of information. decomposer: An organism that feeds on (obtains its energy from) dead organic matter (from the bodies and wastes of plants and animals) by breaking down the complex tissues and organic molecules. Certain bacteria and fungi are the only true decomposers, as they possess the necessary enzymes for this breakdown. Detritivores are sometimes inaccurately termed decomposers decomposition: The breakdown of complex, energy rich organic molecules in biotic matter to simple inorganic molecules. This process is responsible for nutrient re-cycling. deforestation: The destruction and loss of forests. detritivore: An organism that is involved in the early stage of decomposition, it feeds on dead organic matter (detritus). Full breakdown into inorganic molecules does not take place. detritus: Dead organic matter (bodies of plants and animals). diameter at breast height (dbh): A measurement of a tree’s diameter taken at breast height. ecology: The scientific study of the interactions that determine the distribution and abundance of organisms. Ecology is thus the study of ecosystems. ecosystems: A biological community together with its associated abiotic environment. ecotone: The transition ecosystem type between two distinct and adjoining ecosystems. edge effect: (1) The negative influence of a habitat edge on the interior biotic and abiotic environment. (2) The effect of adjoining habitats on the environment at the ecotone. 184
    • emergent layer: The layer in a forest that is comprised of the tallest trees that emerge above the canopy layer. endangered: The classification given to some biological entity ( most usually a species but also an ecosystem) that reflects its imminent danger of extinction in all or parts of its range. This may be due to human activity as well as natural causes. endemic: Usually applied to a species, reflecting its highly localized or restrictive geographic distribution. Many species are endemics on isolated islands, meaning that they are found only on the island, nowhere else. environment: The range of external conditions and surroundings affecting the existence of living organisms. eutrophication: Enrichment of a water body with nutrients, usually resulting in a large increase in the phytoplankton community. This algal bloom depletes the oxygen in the water, resulting in death of the other organisms in the water. exotic species: A species that is not indigenous to an area, but has been artificially introduced. extinction: The condition that arises from the death of the last surviving individual of a species group or gene. (compare with extirpation). extirpation: The condition the arises for the death of the last surviving individual of a species population, group or gene in the local area. evolution: The process by which a biological group (for example a species or family) changes in response to changes in the environment. fragmentation: The disruption of extensive habitat into isolated and small patches. gene pool: The sum total of genes and alleles in a sexually reproducing population of plants or animals. genetic diversity: The diversity within and among genes. habitat: The place where an animal or plant lives. herbivore: An animal that feeds on plant matter. It is a primary consumer. inexhaustible resources: Resources whose amount does not decrease with time. We cannot see a time when they will not be there. interconnected: To be connected with each other. migration: The movement of individuals from one region to another. neotropics: The tropical region of the Americas, comprising the Caribbean and parts of South and Central America. mutualism: An interaction between the individuals of two or more species in which all of the individuals benefit from the interaction. nature: The phenomenon of the material world, and including the plants, animals, landscape and physical powers. niche: The niche of a species describes the functional, adaptational and distributional role of a species in an ecosystem. The functional role encompasses the trophic position and the relationship of a species to another species, and is analogous to a profession. The adaptational role describes the habitat of a species, that is the type and range of environmental conditions in which it lives and is adapted to. The distributional role involves a statement of the geographical area in which a species is found. Thus a niche of a species includes many different parameters that together describe the role of a species in an ecosystem. 185
    • nutrient cycling: The process of describing the continuous cycling of nutrients between the biotic and abiotic components of an ecosystem. Nutrients are taken up by plants and incorporated into their bodies via photosynthesis. As herbivores eat plants, these nutrients are passed into their bodies. As carnivores and scavengers eat animal bodies, these nutrients are similarly passed along the food chain. Eventually all of the nutrients in the bodies of plants and animals end up in the dead organic matter, which is than decomposed by the detritivores and the decomposers. The decomposers break up the complex molecules, and release the nutrients back into the abiotic environment in their simplest inorganic form. These nutrients are once again available for uptake by plants. The cycle is continuously repeated in ecosystems. non renewable resource: Resources that are present in the environment in finite or limited quantities, while the demand for them is infinite or unlimited. The rate at which they are formed is too slow to compensate for the amount used. Their quantities decrease with time. omnivore: An animal that feeds on both plants and animals. pollution: A contaminant in the environment. This may be any substance that exists in amounts greater than what is naturally found in a given environment, and thus may be either a natural substance ( for example carbon monoxide may be a pollutant under certain circumstances) or synthetic ( for example many pesticides). population: A collection of several individuals of the same species occupying a common area in a given time. The size of the area is often arbitrarily defined. predator: An organism that consumes other organisms. It is most often thought of as a carnivore, although herbivores, parasites and parasitoids may also be included. preservation: The maintenance of something in its existing state. Environmental preservation implies the setting aside of something and barring human activity and impacts. (compare with conservation) prey: An individual liable to be or actually consumed by a predator. protected area: A natural area being managed for its conservation reafforestation: The replanting of an area with trees recyclable resources: Resources that are not destroyed by use and therefore can be recycled and reused. siltation: The deposition of sediment, especially in a water channel. species-area relationship: The common pattern where as the size of an area increases, the number of species that will be found in the area also increases. succession: The non-seasonal, directional and continuous pattern of change in the biotic community and its abiotic environment on a site. This is caused by the pattern of colonization and extinction on the site by populations of different species. Primary succession refers to community development on site that was totally lacking in organic (biotic) matter, for example the development of grassland on the open sand of an abandoned quarry. Secondary succession refers to the changes experienced by a community after disturbance, for example the regrowth of a forest after fire or logging. sustainable: To be able to be sustained or upheld. sustainable development: Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It describes the ability to sustain development or the utilization of natural resources without causing damage or depletion. 186
    • sustainable use: The use of a natural resource in such a manner and at such a rate that the resource is not depleted or degraded. Often termed wise-use. Territory: An area defended by an animal or animals against others of the same species. under story: The region of a forest found beneath the tree crowns in the canopy. value: Worth that is attached to something. values system: An individual’s or community’s total collection of cherished ideas. watershed: An area delimiting the waters flowing to a specific river, waterway, or sea. wildlife: Animals and plants found in wild nature. 187
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    • Filename: Teachers Resource Book Part 2 - Pages 36-186 Directory: C:Documents and SettingsBertrandMy DocumentsenvironmentworkSchool's Resource Manual Template: C:Documents and SettingsBertrandApplication DataMicrosoftTemplatesNormal.dot Title: MANGROVES AND CORAL REEFS Subject: Author: ENVIRONMENT TOBAGO Keywords: Comments: Creation Date: 5/27/2003 9:57:00 AM Change Number: 2 Last Saved On: 5/27/2003 9:57:00 AM Last Saved By: ENVIRONMENT TOBAGO Total Editing Time: 4 Minutes Last Printed On: 11/14/2006 10:53:00 AM As of Last Complete Printing Number of Pages: 182 Number of Words: 40,585 (approx.) Number of Characters: 231,339 (approx.)